I am Not Violent

Life Matters By Life Matters, 12th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3ogdtzzb/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Education

I thought I was not violent, and then I discovered I was without realizing it--how about you? Many people do not that realize that the way we speak to each other is often violent, judgement, and harsh. Using nonviolent language allows us to connect with each other in meaningful, respectful and often compassion ways.

Not Me!

When I first heard about Nonviolent Communication (NVC), I too wondered why I should take a class in something I already know. I did not see myself as a violent person. I got my answer the first night I heard about NVC.
At the end of the peace meeting in 2001, right after the 9/11 bombing in New York City and Washington, DC., I happen to make a disparaging comment about a profession related to mine, and this minister says to me, "That is not a peaceful statement!"
I was so stunned and surprised when I heard her remark. The next day, I shared it with friends of mine. "How rude?", "How could she say something like that to you?", and "Who does she think she is?" were among their reactions.
"Wait a minute," I replied. "This may be a stunning teaching! Maybe we should be looking at how we speak." It was from this moment on that I realized that I did use language violently, "not peacefully". Much to my chagrin, I used violent language and did not realize I was doing it. This was a wakeup call for me.

Humble Pie

The following spring, I heard Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg speak, bought his books and tapes, and set about learning NVC. I got nowhere. I could not understand it. I am pretty adept at learning most anything, but I could not understand how to speak compassionately. Me, a spiritual person, could not figure out how to communicate in a nonviolent way. I felt very frustrated, particularly since some events with my family were playing out, and I did not how to stop, fix or change the anger, rage, and despair going on. My helplessness was growing, and I did not know what to do.

My friend told me that I needed to be in a practice group. So I checked around, and the current ones, were all closed. I was very discouraged until my friend stepped up and offered to facilitate a group of my friends 10 months later. Since then, I have been in 2 groups, and now have facilitated 11 more. I have conducted workshops too, in Washington State, Oregon, and British Columbia. I wrote a curriculum for the beginning level practice group and am working on an intermediate book too.

The more I learned and experienced and benefited, the more I wanted to teach others and to spread the word. I now conduct workshops, taught a university graduate class, and joined the board of the state organization, Oregon Network for Compassionate Communication (ORNCC) at www.orncc.net.

Foreign Language

Learning NVC is like learning a foreign language. It does take practice. I decided to become a certified trainer, so I started the process. Part of the training is to teach and practice NVC and to live it. So I use it with my partner, my family and friends, in my classes and my counseling. I use it with strangers too. Recently, I used it with a deputy sheriff. Man, was he startled. He probably never has a person really listen to him.

A Compliment May Be Violent

"Wow! A compliment is a violent statement. I can't believe it! I compliment people all the time. I want to make them feel good. How could this be violent?" Ah, my thoughts exactly.
If you heard me say, "You are ugly," you would probably get that this is a violent statement. However, when you hear me say, "You are beautiful," it probably surprises you to learn that both of these statements are judgments. The content may be different, but the construct of the sentences is the same. When I tell you what I think you are, I am judging you. Who am I to tell you what you are, to judge or criticize you? This is the violence in our language and most of us do not realize it.
When we judge, criticize, analyze, diagnose, or evaluate another person, we are engaging in communication which Marshall Rosenberg characterizes as "life-alienating". In contrast, most of us derive joy from helping others, which is "life-serving" or "making life more wonderful." NVC can help us learn how to make life more wonderful for ourselves, our families, our friends, and even our work places.

Global NVC

NVC is being used in over 77 countries on the world, by individuals, couples, families, and in schools, social agencies, and prisons. In schools, the bullying rate drops over 50% and the academic performance increases.
Dr. Rosenberg, founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication, (www.cnvc.org) and developed the model for NVC. He teaches NVC all over the world, and he does mediation in war torn countries all over the world.

Change your Life

Having not spoken with my mother for over a year without emotional pain, I am now able to have a joyful conversation with her. In fact, she recently asked me to email my teaching materials because she would like to learn more about NVC. It warmed my heart.
Compassionate Communication is transforming my life. I have received tremendous healing benefits from learning this way of speaking, more too, in this way of being, with myself and with others. I have witnessed many of my friends and clients become more peaceful, serene and tranquil. They are happier people.
I figure this is a good way to change the world. As one person said to me, "Yes, you are changing the world, one sentence at a time."
I invite you to join me, and now, you can. I will be posting chapters of my book here: Peace Matters: Teaching the Language of Peace.

Peace Matters

In my vision, I started a website in 2010 with free lessons for everyone. I included audio and text training called Peace Matters. I wrote a little book introducing what I was doing. Then the website was hacked and virtually destroyed. I was devastated, and since the summer of 2014 have struggled with the trauma of "cyber rape". I have been seeking a solution and it might just be here.

Look for Peace Matters on this site in May 2015.


Dorothy Ann Cole, Empathy, Ghandi, Language Of Peace, Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication, Nvc, Peace Matters

Meet the author

author avatar Life Matters
Author of Peace Matters book and website (recently destroyed by hackers) offering 20 free lessons in the Language of Peace to the World. Holistic Healer, Educator, Biofeedback Practitioner

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