The first time I heard about Nonviolent communication was just after I had met my husband. He had been practicing it for several years. He gave me the book to read and I was hooked. I suddenly understood the techniques that had helped me to create a peaceful environment in my class all those years and why I was able to work with kids that others had trouble with. I had been practicing Nvc without knowing. It has also been extremely helpful for our relationship. When times got tough and we weren't able to hear each other, Nvc was the tool that helped us move forward, closer together again and eventually helped us to find a win-win.
Nonviolent communication is also called Compassionate communication. This is, because the connection we have with the other person will be at the centre of what we'll do. It enhances our chances of getting heard and we learn to really hear what others are trying to tell us. We are often clumsy in the way we express ourselves and that is ok. But there are things that we can do to increase the chances that our needs are going to be met.
You can use Nvc for different purposes. At first it is a great tool to use for personal growth. You'll learn to identify your feelings and needs. Something that is necessary before we start to communicate them. You can also use it for giving empathy to yourself in situations that you're upset about something and there's no one who can listen. Or you can give empathy to someone else when they are upset, help them understand their feelings and needs. Lastly, we can use it to communicate our feelings, needs and make a request to get our needs met. We often communicate in strategies, but are unaware of the needs behind them. When the strategy doesn't work, we usually don't know what else to do. Learning about our need behind the strategy is the thing that will give us more freedom. Because we can get creative by finding more helpful strategies to fulfill the needs that we have.
But ultimately, what we want to accomplish by using Nvc is more peace in the relationships that we have. Annoyances and conflict is unavoidable. But we can learn how to do conflict well, so it becomes a situation that we grow and learn from.