Communication Life Lessons Relationships

Compassionate Communication (NVC)

Nonviolent CommunicationBefore I was exposed to Compassionate Communication (through a five-week fundamentals workshop, reading the text assigned as homework, Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg, and a weekly practice group that I’ve been attending for two years), I didn’t even realize how judgmental my thoughts and speech were.  I didn’t even realize I had needs.  I thought only “needy” people had needs.  I only had 2 emotions:  “fine” and “depressed.”  I wouldn’t even think of asking for anything.

My modus operandi was that of a martyr.  I was full of unexpressed (and unacknowledged) anger and resentment, except when I’d finally blow up and scream at someone at the top of my lungs.  Because I never acknowledged or expressed my feelings and needs (I had no vocabulary or  awareness that my feelings and needs existed), I suffered from clinical depression and took prescribed medication.

Over the course of three years, studying and practicing compassionate communication, I have literally become depression-free (without medication or therapy).  Now I have a feelings and needs vocabulary and am capable of identifying and expressing my feelings and needs.  I have learned how to make requests to increase the chances of my needs being met, and how to give myself empathy, which is a skill for soothing oneself in emotionally-charged situations.

Not only am I depression-free and happier overall, but my relationships have improved significantly.  I listen and communicate with empathy and compassion for myself and others.  Compassionate Communication is a technology that changes peoples’ lives in concrete and measurable ways for the better.

I will be teaching my first NVC Compassion Sampler Workshop with David Steele at the Mercury Cafe on July 20, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  I hope to see you there!

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