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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Paperback – September 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
On a personal note, this book has been life-changing for me. I have witnessed truly amazing results in all my relationships including one relationship which had been a great struggle for me for many years.
This latest edition of Dr. Rosenberg's book has a completely new chapter called, "Connecting Compassionately with Ourselves." It's about what he calls, "self-compassion." He writes, "When we are internally violent towards ourselves, it is difficult to be genuinely compassionate towards others." I enjoyed this chapter because it helped me translate my self-judgments into statements of my own unmet needs. I now see that when I am angry with myself it is because my actions were not in harmony with my values. Seeing things from this perspective helps me mourn my action and move into self-forgiveness by connecting with the specfic need I was trying to meet when I used a strategy that I now regret. I particularly enjoyed the section on translating "have-to" into "choose-to." The exercise showed me how to locate the choice in what I do, by connecting with the need, want, or value each activity serves. I find I have more energy, more compassion when I experience choice in my life.
/Nonviolent Communication/ is a rather easy read. This is both good and bad - good, because you're not slogging through lots of academia-speak and technical jargon; but also bad because you might breeze through the book too quickly to truly absorb the rather useful and insightful information it is offering.
The idea behind the NVC process is rather simple - it's mostly about learning to be more precise in expressing your feelings, their cause(s), and what you would like done to resolve them. Rather than saying "you never clean the !@#$ kitchen," the NVC approach would be to say something along the lines of: "When you do not take out the trash in the kitchen, I feel __________." And so on. NVC also encourages you to be receptive to what other people are saying and feeling, even if (or perhaps especially if) they do not word things with as much precision and care.
The approach is very sound, but I have reservations about the way the book presents it. Most of the example conversations are so unbelievably robotic, at times I just wanted to laugh out loud at how absurd they were. My initial thought was that I was being unreasonable - after all, they're just words on a page, and perhaps they would seem less laughable in person with real emotion behind them. And then I realized that was the key that was missing - the conversations were little other than the facts of the situation, and the exact words the people said. There was no emotional context, no insight into the feelings that were being expressed. I found this to be extremely ironic.Read more ›
Now for some context. In the last year, I've read about twenty books on emotional intelligence (EQ) and related topics. (If you're unfamiliar with the term, just think of EQ as "socio-emotional fitness". It can be roughly divided into self-awareness, self-direction, social perception and relationship management.) Good intellectual frameworks for understanding EQ have been easy for me to find; practical instructions for increasing your EQ seem rather more rare. (By "practical instructions" I mean pragmatic action plans with specific things to DO, not just project proposals with goals to accomplish. It's a shame how often the latter is presented when the former is needed.) In my reading experience, "Nonviolent Communication" is THE premiere how-to guide for improving your performance at doing empathy, which is one of the fundamental competencies of EQ.
Third, a caution in the form of a metaphor. The author is proffering you a diamond while demonstrating an oddly formal way of holding it. Just take the diamond and ignore the formalities. That is to say, other reviewers have pointed out that he uses some rather stilted language at times, and that's true; but, the phrasing is NOT the point. The remarkable insights are what matter.
Fourth, an idiosyncratic recommendation. One of most amazing ways that this book helped me was by teaching me how to empathize with my OWN needs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great concept- wish I had known about this form of communication years ago.Published 16 hours ago by Karen
I enjoyed reading this book several years ago. Since then I've sincerely tried to apply the principles as far as I internalized them. Read morePublished 1 day ago by MichaelWright-Author
This is my second time in two years reading this book from cover to cover. I have used the strategies in this book to communicate more effectively with my friends, family, and... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Katie Taylor
Lots of Knowledge. It can be used in all walks of my life to enrich my relationships.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very helpful. One of those books that you end up buying multiple copies of to hand out to friends.Published 11 days ago by Jordan Inman
This book and its organization of humanistic principles is beloved. I use it in my personal and professional life. I have given it out as gifts and I reference it often. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer