Nonviolent Communication

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A language of life

Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we’ll unlock the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

We communicate with others every day. If we pay closer attention to the ways we talk and our feelings towards various ways of having a conversation, we'll realize that some words can be extremely harmful. For example, there are verbal denials, rude interruptions, and casual judgments. Now the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life will teach us a new way of communication, allowing us to avoid such harm and get more love and happiness for others and ourselves.

Marshall Rosenberg once presented on Nonviolent Communication at a mosque at Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. The audience consisted of about 170 Palestinian Muslim men. Palestinian attitudes toward Americans at that time were not favorable. As he was speaking, the audience started to whisper that Rosenberg was American. A man even leaped to his feet and yelled to Rosenberg, “Murderer! Assassin!” Immediately the rage rose in the entire group. Rosenberg recalled that on the way into the refugee camp, he had seen several empty tear gas canisters that had been shot into the camp, with inscriptions reading “Made in U.S.A.”

So Rosenberg addressed that man, “So you’re furious and would appreciate some support in improving your living conditions and gaining political independence?”

The man said, “Do you know what it’s like to live here for 27 years the way I have with my family, children and all? Have you got the faintest idea what that’s been like for us? Tell me, do you have children? Do they go to school? Do they have playgrounds? My son is sick! He plays in open sewage! His classroom has no books! Have you seen a school that has no books?”

Rosenberg responded, “I hear how painful it is for you to raise your children here.” Their conversation then continued for about 20 minutes, and Rosenberg listened to the man’s feelings and needs behind each statement. Gradually, the man was able to hear Rosenberg as he explained his purpose for being at the camp. An hour later, he even invited Rosenberg to his home for a Ramadan dinner.

You see? A seemingly inevitable and huge conflict was resolved. This is the power of the new way of communication explained in the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

The protagonist of the previous story, the American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, was the author of this book. For his outstanding contribution to the promotion of peace and harmony among people, he received the Bridge of Peace Nonviolence Award from the Global Village Foundation in 2006. Dr. Rosenberg was a student of the renowned psychologist Carl Rogers and later on developed the influential principles and methods of Nonviolent Communication. He taught people how to live a more harmonious life and also solved many disputes and conflicts worldwide.

UNESCO listed this way of communication as one of the best practices of nonviolent resolution in formal or informal education worldwide. It can eliminate people's hidden traces of psychological violence and allow them to express their affection naturally.

Coming up next, we’ll unlock the book in three parts.

Part One: Types of Violent Communication.

Part Two: Benefits of Nonviolent Communication.

And Part Three: Using the Four Components of Nonviolent Communication

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