I think one of the hardest things about reading Marshall B. Rosenberg's book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life is afterwards having that desperate feeling of wanting to put his teaching into practice but not having a clue how to make it happen.
It's like reading a book about how to ski, then positioning yourself on top of a mountain, and shooting down the hill with no concept of how to turn, adjust your speed, or even stop. Skiing would be a pretty terrifying experience if you didn't have a teacher modeling how to do it safely and correctly.
If you've grown up confused about how to communicate your true feelings and needs effectively, and you've never witnessed a healthy disagreement that was resolved through thoughtful and meaningful dialogue, the method of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) might feel like taking an incredible emotional risk that could leave you hurt and injured.
Working with an NVC practice group was life-changing for me. It was a creative laboratory where I not only saw conflict resolution modeled for me, but I also tried out effective communication in a safe environment where no one was judging my awkward attempts at learning language from a compassionate point of view.
If you are interested in practicing NVC but feel lost as to how to integrate it into your life, I urge you to seek out other people in your area who can model it for you and provide space to practice it without possible negative consequences. The video above is a great example of seeing NVC in action and demonstrates what people around the world are trying to do in small practice groups, learning how to speak from their hearts in simulations so they can communicate more effectively in their close relationships.
Another method for slowly integrating NVC into your life is to start your study of compassionate communication by learning to build a strong dialogue within yourself. This approach can be a safe way to become comfortable with your own language of feelings and needs, and develop a depth of understanding that will make communicating with others less frightening. This method of learning compassionate communication through developing an inner dialogue of self-empathy is the focus of my book Lemonade Mantras, which can be downloaded for FREE by clicking here.
For more information about the film in this post check out Peace for Romeo and Juliet.