Domestic Violence and Anger Management Court Certified Programs for Santa Barbara County
ANGER MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS
NON VIOLENT COMMUNICATION
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process of communication
created by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. It is a compilation of
ideas about compassionate human behavior, packaged to meet the
needs of modern times.
Observations: Description of what is seen or heard without added
interpretations. For example, instead of “She’s having a temper tantrum,”
you could say “She is lying on the floor crying and kicking.” If referring
to what someone said quote as much as possible instead of rephrasing.
Feelings: Our emotions rather than our story or thoughts about what others are doing. For example, instead of “I feel manipulated,” which includes an interpretation of another’s behavior, you could say “I feel uncomfortable.” Avoid the following phrasing: “I feel like . . . “ and “I feel that…” — the next words will be thoughts, not feelings.
Needs: Feelings are caused by needs, which are universal and ongoing and not dependent on the actions of particular individuals. State your need rather than the other person’s actions as the cause. For example, “I feel annoyed because I need support” rather than “I feel annoyed because you didn’t do the dishes.”
Requests: Asking concretely and clearly for what we want (instead of what we don’t want). For example, “Would you be willing to come back tonight at the time we’ve agreed?” rather than “Would you make sure not to be late again?” By definition, when we make requests we are open to hearing a “no,” taking it as an opportunity for further dialogue.
Empathy: In NVC, we empathize with others by guessing their feelings and needs. Instead of trying to “get it right,” we aim to understand. The observation and request are sometimes dropped. When words are not wanted or are hard to offer, empathy can be offered silently.
Self-Empathy: In self-empathy, we listen inwardly to connect with our own feelings and needs. It is that connection which enables us to choose our next step.
For example, “I feel disappointed that you cancelled at the last minute” rather than “You’ve let me down again”.
Clearly express how you feel
people don’t always get the message.
Do it now
Ask for clarification
For example, a friend seems withdrawn and you suspect they are angry with you. You say: “You seem quiet. Have I done something to upset you?” or “Is everything OK?”
For example: “Look Sam, I feel really awkward about bringing this up but…” or “Alex, I need to talk to you about something and I’m feeling nervous about it. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but if I don’t say anything, I think I’ll continue to feel upset.”
Be aware of your body language
Communicate positive feelings
REMEMBER, You have the right to: