Non Violent Communication (NVC), also referred to as Compassionate Communication is a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s. Its purpose is to create human connections that empower compassionate giving and receiving. Communication is a basic human activity yet a very important one.
In communities, like Panya, where people live closely together, make decisions together and constantly affect eachother, Non-Violent communication is a very useful skillset that can help us to see each other and support each other.
One of the main themes of NVC is that one cannot force others to feel, think or act the way one wishes. Through communication, people often hear demands, blame, threats, analyses, diagnoses and punishment, which stops communication. Even if attempt is successful, the results will backfire. When someone does something for us out of guilt or shame, often there will be resentment later. As we live together in a community we want people to act out of love and honesty, and NVC helps us to establish this.
In NVC, judging oneself and others stop honest communication. Here we learn to communicate, think and feel without having to evaluate and label things because judging has a quality of finality about it – “all or nothing, “absolute thinking” or static thinking e.g “I'm an emotional eater” “You're just a drinker” means that someone cannot change.
NVC presents that all people are connected at the level of feelings, needs and other levels. Staying in the body, staying in the present time, and empathizing with others brings people together and helps lessen the pain experienced. NVC helps us go into deeper levels of human consciousness instead of arguing or discussing about things at purely intellectual or emotional levels where communication tends to fall apart.
Empathy is central in NVC. The key ingredient for empathy according to Marshsall Rosenberg, is presence. It is a non-judgmental state in which one observes onself and notes as well what the other person is observing, feeling, needing and requesting. This is not easy most of the time.
The Panya Project is happy to have Shammi Nanda as part of our community offering Non-Violent Communication workshops from Feb 25 to March 7th for a minimal deposit and donations based on gift economy. Click here for more details on the workshops, costs, dates, food, transport and accomodation.