Communicate without Violence – Nayara Mira | Sexologist in Valencia

What does it mean to communicate without violence?

One of the keys to maintaining healthy and beautiful relationships is knowing how to communicate well. And knowing how to communicate well begins with communicating without violence.

When we are in therapy, many of our users talk about personal conflicts with their partner, with their friend, co-worker, mother, etc. We all have some kind of conflict with someone.

Conflict in psychology is not negative. Although it is true to have a dispute is not pleasant, in any interpersonal relationship it implies that we are alive and that as social beings that we are and different, any friction or difference can nurture and learn.

Every crisis is an apprenticeship. An opportunity to grow

But the key is in how we peacefully approach conflictual conversations. There are many ways to solve a problem. And human beings have the powerful virtue of language, and through our verbal and non-verbal language, we can maintain healthier and more honest relationships. And we can achieve it without any kind of violence.

The method

The term non-violent communication (NVC) devised by the psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg, (1934-2015) describes the conversational process to build an empathic conversation.

The empathic union : To achieve that conflicting conversations end in agreement, it is recommended to create a link between the parties involved. This is achieved when both people have the feeling that their needs are heard.

Rosenberg’s wish was to maintain a peaceful coexistence even in the most adverse circumstances. Would it be possible to create empathy within a jail full of inmates with its thousands of stories of violence? Elizabeth Marlow, Researcher at the University of San Francisco, uses CNV to help people at risk of social exclusion: families living in poverty, homeless, drug addicts and inmates. The results reveal that this communication strategy increases empathic capacity and improves the ability to deal with emotionally stressful situations.

Nonviolent Communication is used a lot in consultation and especially to work in couples therapy. In essence, it consists of expressing yourself correctly, clearly and openly; without judging or evaluating.

Let’s take an example. When trying to make a request, we must first ask ourselves: “What should (and can) the other person do for me?” If the wish is expressed in a vague or accusing way (“I would like you to become more involved in our daughter’s education”), surely the other party will feel hurt and react defensively.

Communicating without violence implies creating empathy towards all parties in the following way: “I am worried that María will not pass second grade for failing mathematics. Would you be willing to practice the exercises with her for her next exam? In addition, the request must be negotiable.

Thus, the request is used in a more honest way and without demanding, since non-compliance with it would not entail a punishment. Rather, it is a plea.

Still it doesn’t seem easy at all. We continually make communication errors and for this, it is proposed Paraphrase the conversation, that is, recapitulate in your own words what has been understood (“When you say that …”), and add an assumption (“Is it possible that you are hurt and need a little more affection?”). Communicating without violence through this strategy can be somewhat artificial and mechanical, but what it is about is to have ATTITUDE, which can be practiced even without words: a look, a laugh or a hug will also work.

In summary: The idea of ​​CNV (communicate without violence) is to build an empathic relationship and identify and recognize the needs in a reciprocal way. It is a great successful mediation strategy because both parties to the conflict benefit.


I will sincerely express how I am without blaming or criticizing anyone.

  • The concrete acts that I observe (see, hear, remember, imagine) that contribute (or not) to my well-being: “When I (see, hear) …”
  • How do I feel about these acts: “… I feel…”
  • The vital energy in the form of needs, values, desires, hopes or ideas that create my feelings: “… because I (need) …”

I will clearly ask for what I know could enrich my life, without demanding it.

  • The specific acts that I would like to see carried out: “… and I would like you to …”

I will receive with empathy how you are without hearing in your words that you blame me or criticize me.

1. The concrete acts that you observe (see, hear, remember, imagine) that contribute (or not) to your well-being: “When you (see, hear)….”

2. How do you feel about these acts: “… do you feel…”

3. The vital energy in the form of needs, desires, hopes or ideas that create your feelings: “… because you need …”

I will receive with empathy what could enrich your life, without listening to any demands in your words.

  • The specific acts that you would like to see carried out: “… and would you like me to …”



Contemplate the situation without judgment. We continually evaluate others without being aware of it.

Example: “You have thrown the dirty clothes in the bathroom again.” Here the behavior of the other is being judged.

The CNV does not prohibit evaluation but uses mere observation, as if we were scientists who are only writing down what we see, hear, smell, etc. here and now.

The most correct thing would be: “I see that your clothes are in the bathroom”

After observing the situation, we stop to connect with our feelings.

Example: “I feel uncomfortable”

Here the need behind the feeling is recognized. Many times transmitting needs, it is difficult for us because I have met many people who confuse need with weakness and dependence. This is a limiting belief due to the way we are educated or because of the habits used during our experiences.

Those needs hide fears, or hide the need to feel valued. The vision of disorder in the example shown, perhaps creates the need for beauty, the need for order.

In this case we could say: “Your clothes are thrown in the bathroom. When I see this I feel uncomfortable, because for me it is important to have an orderly house ”.


How can we ask for something so that the other person feels ready to respond empathically to our needs? It is very important to be clear about the request and what is expected of the other. Because we can ramble and doubt. And it will show us.

Instead of saying, “I’m sick of seeing your clothes thrown in the bathroom after you shower.”

It would be better to express: “Could you leave your dirty clothes in your room or put them in the laundry basket after you shower?”

post on Instagram June 10, 2019

If you cannot distinguish your own feelings from those of others, your emotional stability is reduced ”Tobias Altmann, psychologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Psychology, vol.6


Nonviolent communication training and empathy in male parolees. E. Marlow et al. En Journal Of Correctional Health Care, Vol.18, pag.8-19, 2012)

Non-violent communication. A language of life (3rd Ed. Extended). Marshall B. Rosenberg. Editorial Acanto, 2017

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Communicate without Violence – Nayara Mira | Sexologist in Valencia

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