Non-violent Communication

by Sean Aubin at University of Tokyo

People are an unavoidable part of life. Humans have a natural tendency to want to be with other people and we often need help to pursue the things we value. So you’d think we would have developed a better way of working together that didn’t usually end up with people getting angry and hurt, or worse never being able to feel connected to anyone you’re around at all.

Marshall Rosenberg tried to fix our ability to understand each other. He developed this system called Non-Violent Communication (NVC), which he used in a ton of different conflict situations, ranging from couples therapy to negotiating peace between warring states. There are a bunch of ways to approach and describe NVC, but today I’m going to talk about it like a system or a strategy that you can use and adapt as part of your “emotional toolbox”. So the next time you’re in a situation where there’s a lot of strong emotions, like “anger” or “sadness”, you can think about NVC and maybe it will help you.

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Seanny123

Master's student at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience.