The way you communicate and express your needs and emotions to other people can either strengthen the connection in that relationship or take away from it. You convey your experience to other people through your body language and tone of voice as well as your word choice. Nonviolent communication is an important skill for everyone to learn.
What Is Nonviolent Communication?
Nonviolent communication is a way of communicating that allows you to voice your needs and experiences to other people in a way that fosters connection and does not use blame, force, or unclear expectations.
It also encourages deep compassion, tapping into your power rather than giving it away to others. This way, you honor other people’s needs and experiences in addition to your own.
Nonviolent communication starts by observing your experiences before blaming another person. For instance, if you notice yourself feeling angry about what someone said, instead of saying, “You made me angry when you said XYZ,” try, “I noticed I started feeling angry when I heard you say XYZ.”
This brings awareness to the other person and makes it about what your experience was like and how you felt instead of making it about their action.
Naming What You Need
Getting in touch with your needs—not only to give yourself what you need but to also communicate to others what you need from them—can feel like learning a foreign language. This is especially true if you are used to telling yourself what you “should” need, or giving to others more than you give to yourself.
Naming what you need could include the following thoughts:
- “I would like that person to stop saying and doing that.”
- “I want them to not talk about that with me.”
- “I need to give myself space right now.”
Asking for Help
The third component builds on the second and is about requesting what you need through the form of a question. This is a better method instead of demanding what you need from the other person.
This could sound like, “Would you be willing to help me with this?” rather than, “Help me with this right now.” This way of asking for help names what you need while creating space for the other to answer with autonomy.
Empathy can be felt when you inquire about what the other’s experience is, honor your differences, and meet them with compassion for their experience and needs. You never know what a person is going through.
Following these four components can increase the connection you feel in your relationships through deep compassion, presence, and empathy. When you use these guiding principles of nonviolent communication, you can have your needs met without imposing on or blaming others.
Recovery can be a great space to repair or create relationships. Doing so requires you to begin communicating with compassion and relating to others with empathy as you give yourself what you need, which can be challenging to do alone. Learning how to use nonviolent communication can help you strengthen your connection with others as you ask for help from them. Our team of professionals is here to support you as you lean into recovery and begin to build healthy relationships that support your recovery rather than take away from it. Call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.