Nonviolent communication is the language of compassion. The man that developed it is Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D. Here at OTR, we are teaching our clients this model. It is sometimes met with resistance, in most cases, because they’re not used to getting their needs met, nor are they used to being heard. I have found this in my personal life as I have adopted it; I am able to communicate in difficult situations where I can make an observation without judgment, state my feelings, and then make a simple request. The formula is simple, learning the language of compassion is easy once we are able to let go of our old ideas and methods. When we are just starting out it feels very different.

The NVC model has four components:
1. Observation
2. Feeling
3. Needs
4. Requests.

Non-Violent Communication Model Breakdown

First, we observe what is actually happening in a situation: what are we observing others saying or doing that is either enriching or not enriching our life? The trick is to articulate this observation without introducing any judgment or evaluation. To simply say what people are doing that we like or don’t like. Next, we state how we feel when we observe this action; are we hurt, scared, joyful, amused, irritated, etc.? Third, we say what our needs are connected to the feelings we identified.

Getting or learning the awareness of these three components we learn NVC is a way to clearly and honestly express how we are. The last component is the request after I have observed what’s happening, how I feel, what my needs are, and then I can make my request. The other part of this is being able to listen with compassion and empathy placing yourself in their shoes; make statements like “I can see this must be very difficult for you to go through.” We teach reflective listing skills to paraphrase back what you heard them say. So take a breath, take that two-foot drop from your head to your heart, treat people with compassion and love. Try this style of communication and treat each other with love and kindness.

May the Peace be with you.

Reach out to us today and learn more about our addiction recovery programs and the addiction recovery process.

– Danny T.