March 2, 2018
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March 2, 2018
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
not just another “Self Help” book, October 13, 2017
By Ron Housley (Buxton, Maine) –
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This review is from: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides) (Kindle Edition)
Non-Violent Communication: A Language of LifeMarshall Rosenberg 3rd ed Â©2015 (1st ed Â©1999)
a short BOOK REPORT by Ron Housley
I guess this whole NVC thing came to a head for me during the #TakeTheKnee phenomenon, when tempers were high, when emotionalism ruled the day, and when the entire country was being trashed because people thought kneeling was an appropriate way to protest how long it was taking America to climb out of its historical racism.
âYouâre bad!â âNo, YOUâRE bad! And on it went
Entire moral denunciations were leveled, without so much as a pretense at uncovering the âotherâ sideâs basic position; I was even indirectly denounced. If ever there was an opportunity for NVC (Non-Violent Communication) to come to the rescue, this was it. But donât hold your breath â because NVC is no more on peopleâs radar than is the moral superiority of capitalism.
Sometimes, as we course through our lives, just one or two ideas take center stage for us. For me, the center stage idea was a view of life extoling reason, fairness, individualism and ultimately capitalism. But in a veritable sea of Violent Communication, I have succeeded in angering or disappointing more people than I have in winning them over to my own camp.
And I am certain that my failure is not due to any shortcomings of the camp itself; but, rather, it is due to the Violent Communicating that characterizes the culture I have immersed myself in all these years.
And now comes the antidote: Non-Violent Communication.
I am tempted to summarize Rosenbergâs model for you here; but better that you investigate it individually, if you find its promises of interest. It saddens me to realize that so many areas of my own life could have been vastly more fulfilling had I stumbled upon Rosenbergâs model sooner; but better late than never.
And if you donât want to take the time to dig into what, on the surface, sounds like just one more âself-helpâ book, there is an abundance of YouTube workshops to give you a look under the hood.
When I did my own look under the hood, I found one problem: Rosenberg had put a hodge-podge of âhuman needsâ at the core of his approach, the formulation of which I found troubling. But then I discovered (THANK YOU Jean Moroney) a way to re-frame Rosenbergâs âneedsâ into âuniversal human values,â which did resonate with my overview of how we are all motivated.
At the base of Rosenbergâs message, for me, is that in our dealings with others we tend to respond âtoo aggressivelyâ or âtoo defensively;â and by so doing, we diminish our capacity for connection and for having a meaningful conversation. Hence â all the many conversations that go nowhere; all the conversations that result in feelings of disgust and/or personal hurt; all the conversations which might have actually solved a problem but which in reality made things worse.
It was inevitable that, in time, I would recognize my own destructive habit of reflexively (not thinking it through) interpreting and criticizing peopleâs statements, infusing my input with implied wrongness â entirely missing Rosenbergâs contention that doing so is âa tragic expression of an unmet need (of my own).â
The trick (one of the tricks) for me is to recognize âneedâ (or âvalueâ) in statements that donât overtly express any need. Itâs not easy and it takes relentless focusing, but in the end Iâm sensing that Rosenbergâs way seems to bring about better outcomes.
So Iâll just say this: I was a big skeptic when I first learned about Marshall Rosenberg. Now I have seen enough examples of his approach in action to believe in its value and in its potential relevance to my own life. But, Iâm not yet sure how much study and practice will be required to make âthe Rosenberg wayâ into a regular feature of my own life. It definitely appears to be worth some effort.
137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
If you grew up in a dysfunctional family like I did, May 19, 2016
By JessicaG (CA) –
This review is from: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides) (Paperback)
This book has made all of my relationships more manageable. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family like I did, where communication usually happened in the form of guilt trips and passive aggression, this book can change your life. As soon as I started applying concepts like observing without judgment, communicating my needs and my feelings openly and honestly, asking for what would add joy to my life, and not taking ownership for other people’s feelings or responses to me, I noticed a change in how people in my life responded to me and my requests. People began to seem more open to hearing me, and normal every day conflicts can be addressed without people getting escalated.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good communication message, but tone deaf to women, December 28, 2017
By Jennifer D. –
I read this on a recommendation as one of my friend’s favorite books. I agree it has beautiful truths and words to live by. However, and perhaps ironically, this book is tone deaf to women in a way that caused me to cringe every 10 pages or so, which does detract from the message. I do recommend the ideals in this book, if only to ask, “has anyone read something similar that doesn’t portray women in this pathetic light?”
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