[Video is at the bottom of the post] In today’s meditation class we practice “alternate nostril breathing,” (yay!) and continue our lessons on Nonviolent Communication using the book, “Speak Peace in a World of Conflict.”

Specifically,  we discuss when you should and SHOULD NOT use the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) techniques described in the book.

Please know that this class does touch on some sensitive topics. So please take care of yourself.

When NOT to use NVC:

1. When you are actively engaged in an abusive relationship.

NVC is a practice of love and compassion. It allows us to see the other person’s perspective, to connect with what’s most alive in them, and to help make life more wonderful for them and you.

If you are in an abusive relationship at home, work, and even in a volunteer situation, using NVC with your abuser to understand their needs is, in my opinion, dangerous.

Below are some resources if you think you’re in an abusive relationship and if you want more information on the topic of Nonviolent Communication.

2. Some forms of negotiation where there is an unequal power structure, i.e., with your boss. (see resources below)

3. As a “Spiritual by-pass.” This is really about taking the spirit of Dr. Rosenberg’s work as a means to “spiritualize” and avoid conflict altogether. Conflict is natural and can open the door to deeper understanding. I discuss this at length in the video.

4. To manipulate others. NVC as are other communication techniques are very powerful tools and can be used incorrectly to manipulate others. Be mindful and take care with what you’re learning. Remember, we want to connect with the aliveness of the other and make the world a more wonderful place.

When do you use NVC

1. On yourself, of course. To help heal the inner critic/abuser.

2. I believe that Nonviolent communication (as presented in the book, “Speak Peace in a World of Conflict”) can be used as and attitude towards life.

3. Negotiation matters where you have equal power and leverage.

4. To improve the quality of your relationships

5. Participation in restorative justice.

Sources for further study:

1. Signs of Abuse: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/faqs/signs-of-abuse

2. Types of harassment (FYI. the information is good, but the page is salesy). https://i-sight.com/resources/11-types-of-workplace-harassment-and-how-to-stop-them/

3. When to use and not to use NVC, “It isn’t helpful in abusive relationships (where it might be dangerous to expose information to an abuser) or in relationships of unequal power dynamics (for example, the relationship between a CEO and their intern, where it might not be appropriate to ask for personal information).” https://www.clearerthinking.org/post/2019/03/06/want-to-improve-your-relationships-try-nonviolent-communication-1