Introduction to Nonviolent Communication

We will talk about the approach to nonviolent or empathic communication created by Marshall Rosenberg, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

Carl Rogers, professor of humanistic psychology, and Chilean economist Manverj Max Neff, who analyzed the economic needs of socially and economically advanced countries.

The approach to (curriculum of) nonviolent communication invites us to speak the language of life, and to search for what is alive within us.

Empathy is the connection with the energy of life or what is alive in us, and it is the language in which we express ourselves and enrich others, and also empathize with ourselves in a simple and human way. It consists of 4 steps:

  • Observation
  • Feelings and emotions
  • Needs
  • Requests

Nonviolent communication is based on several pillars, the most important of which are:

  • Every human being has resources worthy of appreciation and respect that can be manifested through human empathy.
  • All people desire to fulfill their needs.
  • We build good relationships by cooperating with one another’s needs, not through aggressive behavior.
  • (It is the basis of the curriculum) Behind every behavior there is a need.

We wish to try searching for any behavior in life and see the need that stands behind it. Let us try, based on our awareness and observation in life, to pay attention to any behavior that occurs and say: what is the need that has been met by doing this behavior or behavior and we do not take any behavior only with what we see, let’s look beyond the behavior that we observe and see the need behind it so that we can empathize and be in the shoes of the others.

*Every need is useful for life, because feelings and needs express what is alive in us. Let us imagine our life without needs; We would be lifeless. Based on this principle, let us ask a question: Are there negative needs?

Answer: There are no negative needs, our needs are human needs, but the negative and positive follow the cultural concept and are related to the behavior that meets the need; negative and positive is a concept that changes over time, meaning what is acceptable in one place may be acceptable in another, and what is not acceptable for several years may be acceptable and permissible in the future. The negative and the positive change over time and push us to pay attention to the way that helps us meet our needs in a humanly acceptable and societal manner.