Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides)

Category: Relationships
Author: Marshall B. Rosenberg
This Month Reddit 5


by canadaduane   2021-10-02
Great point. I agree.

For context: I grew up Mormon, which I consider "cult-lite mainstream" on the cult<->religion spectrum. Having gone through that and left the church, I've spent some time deconstructing what influenced me to think the way I did as a believing member.

The best advice I can give is (a) make friends with people who are inside information bubbles [1], (b) people are motivated primarily by feelings and needs [2] despite what they say, (c) people often cover what they're really feeling with political, philosophical, and ideological language, which is often very difficult to decrypt to outsiders, and leads to significant misunderstandings, which usually serves to further separate and prevent friendship from happening, which is what's needed in the first place.

[1] see Daryl Davis (

by jlj   2020-10-20
Recommend reading this [1] and then re-thinking what violence means.


Or from the dictionary definition 1.b. [2] "extremely powerful or forceful and capable of causing damage"


by jakobov   2020-10-01
nonviolent communication. It really improved my ability to communicate and understand people.

by stocktech   2019-12-31

Nonviolent Communication.

I think it was linked on HN where it caught my attention. This book teaches a great way to communicate, but for me, it has also helped me think about my feelings and how I can communicate those feelings better. I feel more in touch with my feelings and more empathetic as a direct result from following what the book is teaching.

On the communication side, it has helped me put more structure around tough conversations, personally and professionally. It has helped me understand others more and vice versa. It's also helped me see toxic traits in others. Such as people who aren't interested in understanding or people who struggle to understand their own emotions.

by Kaioatey   2019-11-17

Emotional Development (It's a Pdf)
How Emotions are Made
Non-Violent Communication

by Tolingar   2019-11-17

Get the books. Start reading. The general recommendation is you start with More Than Two. I would also highly recommend you read Nonviolent Communication. You have a lot to learn.
Spend some time lurking here. This community is pretty great.
On that same topic, find your local munch and go to it. If you are in a small town you might have to go to your nearest city to find one (but you might not!)
Finally, ask questions. We are a friendly bunch.

by IronbarkTheOtter   2019-11-17

Communication is pretty important, people are easily misunderstood. This book helped me correct some issues.

by tanukisuit   2019-11-17

I don't know of a website off hand, but whenever I trained to work in psych, we had to learn about "nonviolent communication". Here is a book that looks like it'd be a good tool:

Just look up that terminology, there might be some CEUs too.

by titspussybutnodicks   2019-11-17

Wow... that escalated quickly. Here’s a great book you might want to get.

by Caremonk   2019-07-21

Sounds like you value evenhandedness in your relationship and feel fretful as there is a discrepancy.

That is totally understandable.

I see two aspects in your story that could be answered separately.

  1. Neurological conditions benefitting from deliberate approach to mundane interaction (spoiler: this might be true)
  2. Communication that sparks controversy (spoiler: could be overcome)

ADHD brains can need priming to function well. This might be in form of setting the stage and managing expectations. Or this could be something that increases arousal.

For me this means that when I finally manage to get home from work I can’t absorb anything. On the other hand I don’t have energy to talk either. After I get to unwind a moment I need to something challenging or physically taxing to get me going. Alternatively arousal can be heightened by framing: “can I tell you about how strange day I had today?” etc.

If this sounds a bit demanding … well, it is. Sadly the same dynamics apply to the most daily activities for us ADHDrs. Some of us are able to manage this bit better in some situations, in other situations we all need support from others.

Ways to communicate needs and to handle collisions matter. Looks like your husband could have done better job when vocalizing his request.

My favourite communications stack (that benefits just as much neurotypical people) for ADHD people and their close ones is:

  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
  • Permission-placement-thinking question-clarifying -loop (from Quiet Leadership by David Rock)
  • Emphatic statement–presumptive statement -loop (from The Like Switch by Jack Schafer)

It is responsibility of me, the ADHDr to behave adequately. These approaches can help me to act more humanly. They also help when providing support for ADHDr.

by Caremonk   2019-07-21

I hope I’m not stepping over the line here, but related to this permission and the topic I'll throw in my current "how to help an ADHDr (and your self)" stack with links in the case you enjoy reading.

Downside is that I don't know how much it helps other ADHDrs than me, but these approaches are supposed to be based on research on neurotypical people so they should be useful anyhow.

  1. Nonviolent Communication approach by Marshall B Rosenberg
    • Expressing observation, emotion, need and suggestion separately helps a ton
  2. Dance of insight (despite of how corny it sounds) from Quiet Leadership by David Rock
    • Permission—Placement—Questioning—Clarifying -loop
  3. Emphatic statements—presumptive statements -loop from The Like Swith by Jack Schafer
    • Great way to help others to express their feelings and to improve the tone of the situation

I guess the list should include SCARF model by David Rock (explained in more detail in Your Brain at Work), but SACRF is not as simple tool as those three in the list.

by CarlosDanger0123   2019-07-21

Stop talking to her man. Get on with your life. Start reading books and watching helpful youtube videos such as this one

Focus on being the best version of you. You do that by connecting to those things where your presence is always welcome: a book, or an instruction video is never going to reject you.

Hang out with friends. Learn the guitar. Start speaking French. Just get on with your life and accept already that this relationship has run its course

by pcpcpc   2018-11-23
by BeetleB   2018-11-10
I see posts like these once in a while on HN.

I suggest folks read some good books on conversations and negotiations.


Nonviolent Communications:

Crucial Conversations:

Difficult Conversations:

Negotiation books:

Bargaining For Advantage:

Getting To Yes:

Getting Past No (billed as a negotiations book, but really more of a conversations book):

I strongly recommend reading Influence before you read these - much of what is in the books above will make more sense once you've read Influence.

When you read these, keep in mind: Change is hard. Don't expect to read these and become good communicators quickly. It may take a few years of stumbling and practice.

I see a mixture of comments agreeing and disagreeing with the original submission. For those who disagree: Most of what the author is saying is in agreement with what the books say:

If your goal is to change someone, you will either fail, or will succeed at the cost of the relationship (and relationships at work do matter).

Another important related point: If you cannot summarize why the other person is acting this way without using phrases like "stubborn", "irrational" or similar negatives, then it means you have no idea about the other person's concerns and motives, and are being lazy. It is easier to label, and much harder to probe effectively. Additionally, people often act stubborn because they realize you are not really interested in their perspective. Internally their thought process (which is very rational) is "This person does not really want to hear me out, so I'm not going to invoke too many neurons engaging with him and will just dig in my heels." - which is why a lot of books focus a lot on listening skills (which includes skills to signal that you are listening - you may in reality be listening just fine but the other person does not know it - so you signal it by summarizing their stance).

A lot of the comments here are invoking false dichotomies. Since HN has a comment limit, I'll address some here:

>I don't believe you can have a successful software team with individuals who can't take a code review well.

This is tangential. You can give feedback in a code review poorly, or efficiently. Both ways allow for you to point out problems with the other's code. One way will not be taken well. The other way has a higher chance of being taken well. A big step forward is to realize you can have your cake and eat it too.

>I started to try and reason with people with carefully crafted questions to guide them towards my goal.

Leading questions is a bad idea (all the communications books say it). Learn how to state your concerns. It is OK to ask questions if genuinely curious. But if you want to point something out, learn how to state it in a non-defensive manner.

(3 separate comments below):

>If Kara's emotions and defensiveness can't handle a clearly articulated, rational, objective argument against design decisions, then for the sake of the product and the company, she probably needs to find another job. Avoiding discussions doesn't work for me.

>Learned to let go and he has his parts of the code base and I have mine.

>And this is how you end up with a terrible, in-cohesive product.

Again, false dichotomies. The solution is not to be quiet and let it go. The solution is to learn how to talk about the issues effectively. One of the books calls this "The Fool's Choice" - thinking that either you have to be quiet and not air your concerns (to save relationships), or that you have to air them and damage the relationship.

>It's either you convince them, or perhaps they convince you. Logic wins.

Logic alone rarely wins. One key point in one of the books: Don't pretend that emotions should not be part of the decision making process. The reality is that emotions are already part of the decision making process. If you get angry that someone cannot take your feedback well, emotions are present.

>It's safe to assume Kara wrote this article.

It is safe to assume that the author of this comment is unwilling to question his views on the topic.

That's what assumptions get you.

>I have seen more technical damage done by nice and competent people deferring to bullies in the workplace than by legitimate disagreements expressed passionately.

Another false dichotomy. What the submission describes is normal among non-bullies.

>The flaw here is that you assume that "Kara" will learn from her mistakes. Not always the case.

It is a similar flaw to assume that merely telling her what mistakes she made will make her learn from them. Definitely often not the case.

by BeetleB   2017-08-19
I just gave a presentation at work about how we're ridiculously overeducated on technical skills, and ridiculously undereducated on social dynamics.

I mean, I solved more complex technical problems in my undergrad than I've ever had to in my career.

My suggestion: While you may want to master a technical skill or two, become good at what they don't teach you:

Negotiation skills:

The Coursera course from the University of Michigan is decent, if you don't want to read. But the other course (from Yale?) - I would not recommend that as a starter.

Communication Skills:


(His work is often cited in other books - especially related to negotiations).


Finally, a word of advice. Most of us here on HN have no trouble reading stuff and grasping its content. Internalizing it, though, will take work. So don't run away reading all these books. Pick one topic (e.g. negotiation), and read up on it. Take notes (I forget 80% of what I've read after a few months). And try to practice it.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Just focus on one till you feel you are good at it (perhaps for a year). Then pick another topic.