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Thu 24 Sep 2015

We have an NVC practice group in London.  Click here for details

Click here for blogs about Nonviolent Communication including interviews with NVC authors

Scroll down for more NVC resources. 

Ending Violence through a Creative Response

The author of Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg PhD, developed this groundbreaking method of improving communication by connecting through the heart.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is one of the most effective methods of countering violence. NVC is used to transform situations, including cases of extreme violence. 

NVC is a highly effective method of communication. It can be used in a large range of different situations, including, for example, conflicts:

  • within families

  • within couples

  • between parents and children

  • between parents and teachers/schools

  • in the workplace

  • with neighbour disputes

and more.

NVC is transformative. It goes beyond negotiation and compromise, and can lead to real harmony based on connection.  NVC can also be used effectively in incidence of overt physical violence. 

NVC can also help us to resolve conflicts within ourselves.  If you have ever experienced blaming yourself, or beating yourself up, NVC can help you to break this pattern. 

We can also use NVC to help us to access better education for ourselves and our children. 

This article contains a review of Nonviolent Communication, an explanation of how NVC works, and details of the International Week of Nonviolence.  I also list some NVC resources below. 

Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence

Blogs for the International Week of Nonviolence

I am privileged to be the International Co-Chair of Black Women for Positive Change and the International Week of Nonviolence, which will be held 15th-23rd October 2017.  As part of this event, I will be publishing the Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence for the fourth year.  Details are here

For more about NVC,

Check out my interview with Ike Lasater, author of From Conflict to Connection

Check out my interview with Dian Killan, author of Connecting across Differences

Go here for more blog posts from the Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence. 

Scroll down for more NVC resources. 

Central to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is the premise that all human behaviours are attempts at meeting needs. Everything we do, and everything everyone else does, is a way to meet a need.

Needs in NVC are defined as that which matters to us, what's important to us, what we care about, what we value, what connects us with life.

Review of Nonviolent Communication

One reason this book is so inspiring is that it is packed with examples of ordinary people using NVC in real-life situations.

How NVC Works

NVC is based on empathy - on connecting with feelings and needs. Marshall uses the term “giraffe language” because giraffes have the largest hearts of any land animals, and are willing to stick their necks out.

We have all kinds of needs - physical survival needs as well as emotional, social and spiritual needs.

When we connect genuinely with someone's feelings and needs, we can experience communication which flows from the heart.

The more we connect with other people's feelings and needs, the more they are likely to want to connect with ours.

Jackal Language

Many of us use self-talk which is unhelpful or undermining. If you use language about yourself or your behaviour such as, for example, “stupid”; or “useless”; or “lazy”, these are examples of what NVC refers to as “jackal speech”.

When we are feeling most vulnerable, when we are most in pain, we tend to use language that guarantees we will not get what we want. Marshall Rosenberg calls this jackal speech and says it is our first language. It includes:

  • labelling

  • blaming

  • judging

  • threats, and

  • the language of no choice. 

Behind every jackal is an unmet need. The more we are able to give empathy to ourselves, the less we need to use jackal language.

Jackal language is also called “life disconnecting language”. When we use jackal language about others, it keeps us disconnected from them. 

Marshall Rosenberg explains all of this with clarity, giving specific examples, in Nonviolent Communication

Building Self-Esteem

How to Conquer Your Inner Jackals

I have taught courses in Building Self-Esteem and Confidence for many years. NVC is the most effective method of building self-esteem that I have found.

Jackals are just expressions of our unmet needs.

When we learn to love our jackals, we love, appreciate and value ourselves so much more. This, in turn, helps us to connect with others. 

The Language of No Choice

Marshall Rosenberg explains that the Nazis used language, “Amtssprache”, which allowed them to justify their actions.

Honouring Your Integrity

If you were raised with a system of rewards and punishments, you may find yourself using the language of no choice.

If you hear yourself saying that you “have to” do something, “those are the rules” etc., this is the language of no choice. If you believe you have to work a 9-5 job, and that this is the only way to earn money, or you have to fit in with limitations imposed by others, this attitude can be cured.

Using NVC to connect with your feelings and needs can help you to honour your intergrity and be true to yourself and your values.

Positive Self-Talk

From time to time, we all do things we regret.

When you can acknowledge that you did what you did because you were trying to meet a need, and not because you were “stupid”, “useless” or “Lazy”, or any one of millions of other labels we put on ourselves - your self-talk will become more positive. You will become more loving and appreciative of yourself and others, and you will be able to transform your relationships.

Needs vs. Strategies

We often try to resolve conflicts by using strategies. If we do this without first establishing empathy, this can deepen the conflict.

If we first establish empathy, the strategies will arise out of, and in the context of, empathy. This means that everyone's needs will be honoured within the situation, and included in the solution.

Life Force Energy

NVC connects us with our life force energy. When you connect with feelings and needs, you can release an incredible amount of energy. You can transform your relationships - it's like opening up a whole new universe.

Dissolving Blocks to Receiving

When we experience self-empathy by connecting with our feelings and needs, we become more open to attracting the things we want in life: money, relationships and success in all areas of life.

We dissolve our barriers to receiving, and this opens us to be more able to receiving the gifts of the universe.

History is overflowing with countless examples of what happens when we don't use empathy. Plus, we experience this in our own daily lives. We have conflicts - inner and outer. We blame ourselves and other people. We stick to our positions rather than connecting from the heart.

Widespread Appeal of NVC

NVC is used in many different parts of the world, including places which have a history of extreme violence, such as Israel and Palestine, Rwanda and Burundi, and Sierra Leone. It is used in the U.S.A., the UK, Europe and other parts of the world in hospitals, schools, prisons and family situations.

Buy it from    Buy it from

NVC Resources

I have listed some NVC resources below. 

Click here for some books about NVC and nonviolence

Life Resources

NVC Trainings with Bridget Belgrave

English language workshops in London and New York with Bridget Belgrave

Bridget Belgrave
+44 (0)1865 865008


NVC Academy
This online NVC resource has recently totally revamped its website, created a rich learning library of videos of trainers, and much more good stuff!

NVC World

This is a great new website, that offers links to articles, youtube videos, published materials, trainers....just about any NVC thing you can think of - all well organised and searchable.

NVC websites for info and networking about NVC in UK and worldwide

Life Resources Online Shop

This shop sells lots of interesting and helpful NVC resources such as CDs, DVDs, games and NVC Dance Floors.

The NVC Dance Floors

The NVC Dance Floors were co-created by Bridget Belgrave and Gina Lawrie and published in 2003. They are widely used to learn, practice and teach NVC and are available in seven languages. For lots of Dance Floor information, including Dance Floor workshops with Gina and with Bridget, go to

I highly recommend the Dance Floors as a tool for learning and practicing NVC. 

Mailing list options
Subscribe: If you would like to join the emailing list for other events I run, that are not focused on NVC, please let Gina and Bridget know.

Gina Lawrie

Gina and Bridget were the originators of the NVC dance floors.

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Tue 26 Jan 2016 - Transform Life
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Post by Anonymous on Tue 26 Jan 2016 at 08:00
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