The basis of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) or 'compassionate communication' is choosing words that express what you want or need to increase your chance for connection and mutual understanding. Learning to speak in a way that communicates your needs as well as your values is the best way to inform a listener when using NVC.  

The Components of Nonviolent Communication

These nonviolent communication components can be used to improve all interactions:

  • Consciousness: a set of principles that guide your interactions with other people.

  • Language: understanding the power of words and how they can contribute to connection or distance during interactions.

  • Communication: knowing how to ask for what you want without resorting to violent physical acts or harmful speech patterns.

  • Means of Influence: learning to share your power with others instead of using your power over others.

It begins with learning how to speak your mind and ask for what you truly want or need.

How to Communicate Your Needs & Values

When you reveal your needs, you have a better chance of having them met. Speak up and communicate things like:

  • "I need you to be honest with me."

  • "I value honesty in our relationship so that we can understand each other better."

Both phrases communicate either what you need or would value from the listener in a peaceful manner. As a result, you can likely expect understanding, empathy, and greater connection in return.