Healthy Communication

Relationships in all aspects challenge us daily. Most of it is from a lack of compassionate communication due to not expressing or meeting each others needs.  We deal with it in the workplace, with our spouses, family, and every day strangers. This is something we don’t learn in school but are taught through our relationships.  Many arguments come from not expressing our needs properly, being triggered from past trauma, or just basic misunderstandings between men, women, and personalities. Dr. Wilson has an article on Nonviolent Communication that summarizes some of the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.  I’ve recently started reading Dr. Rosenberg’s book “Nonviolent Communication” and am quite humbled by the lack of compassionate communication I don’t express when I feel triggered, tired, or misunderstood.  It’s also helped me see where I don’t always express my needs nor do I try and find out the needs of others that don’t know how to express them.  

What I have also noticed through working with my clients in their healing journey is that many have been traumatized and may be in relationships or situations that are not healthy.  People tend to feel trapped because it’s all they know. We are also bombarded with people disrespecting each other in the media, TV shows, movies, social media, and even cartoons. 


Emotions are one of the main things that derail communication. Once people get upset at one another, rational thinking goes out of the window. – Christopher Voss

You could start practicing nonviolent communication without the other party having to be aware of you doing this. Below I have summarized what Dr. Rosenberg teaches in his NVC work.

There are four components of NVC (nonviolent communication):

1) observations (observe the situation without evaluating or judging “When I see/hear…”)

2) feelings (identify a feeling “I feel ….ie; frustrated,sad, lonely)

3) needs (identify your need or desire “Because I need…”)

4) requests. (formulate a request “Would you be willing…?”)

NVC Cheat Sheet

 “When _____(describe action), I feel_____(share feeling) because I have a need for ____(state need).  Would you consider ____? (make request)

Two parts of NVC: 

1) expressing honestly through the four components and 

2) receiving empathetically through the four components.



You can find Dr. Wilson’s article on my website


There are also YouTube videos of Dr. Rosenberg teaching his method. 


NVC website:

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