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anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: carol21 ()
Date: February 08, 2016 09:47PM

New here. someone on another forum where I had asked the same question suggested this forum.

my friend has been is NVC for years - off and on .
recently she has been very involved.
I don't think this is a cult in the sense that they kidnap people, or demand large sums of money.
But they have a philosophical/psychological approach which seems cult-like to me.

So I'd like to know if anyone else thinks so.

They have their own language. Their own way of speaking. so when my friend talks to me, instead of the natural conversation we used to have, her side of the conversation is stilted, contrived, inauthentic, scripted.
And she got absolutely furious with me when I told her I do not want to engage in this manner of "communication" with her.

nvc is supposed to encourage empathy, but to me it does just the opposite.

I'm really not sure if it is that my friend is taking some good principles and inexpertly applying them, or if the goal of the nvc is to separate practitioners from "non-NVC" people. Because if that is the goal, it is working.

Thank you in advance for any comments or feed-back.

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Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2016 06:48AM

Google "non violent communication" "cult"


Here is an earlier thread here with some discussion between persons who came to the conclusion that NVC and "compassionate communication' work only with mature persons who have all their cards out on the table, no hidden agendas.

One concern was that internalizing the principles of compassionate communication/nonviolent communication is that it might set some of us up to be easy prey for con artists, psychopaths and bullies.


Here's something to ponder: Roberts Rules of Order can be found in books and online. No need to hire a trained Roberts Rules of Order facilitator. Ditto for other simple methods of this kind. Simple rules, can be learned quickly, no need to hire an expert.

I am not saying one should use Robert's Rules of Order. What I am saying is that it is worth asking if there are simple, user friendly methods of running meetings that do not require bringining in an expert and learning a bunch of new terminology.

(And do not entail use of hand puppets, or hearing the founder's name mentioned again and yet again.)

NVC requires an NVC facilitator and creates a cottage industry. The facilitator gets to be the expert and the rest of us need the expert. So it keeps NVC and its personnel in business.

As long as NVC admirers can enjoy socializing with non NVC people, all is good.

Would be nice to know where Rosenberg got his doctoral title.

Here are some different perspectives.


(excerpt)o I come to what I believe is a very important question: Where does someone's authority come from? More specifially, where does Marshall Rosenberg's authority or knowledge come from? Are they the same? Or are they different? Does his authority come only from his knowledge?

Marshall has a lot of invaluable experience. There is no questioning that. Yet I am reminded of the kings who claimed to get their authority from God. I am not saying Marshall makes this claim, but he comes too close to it for my comfort, and I believe for the comfort of many people who are neither religious nor "spititual." And when I read that he says things like this about what he calls "Beloved Divine Energy" I also feel worried that he is narrowing the audience for his ideas:

"And the Energy spoke to me, and it said, “You just do what you can to connect. Bring your energy in. Connect and help the other people connect and let me take care of the rest.”

And I worry that people will use this kind of statement as evidence it is a "self-improvement cult" as one person has already labeled it. I will also say that when I often feel preached to when Marshall speaks. I know that "preached to" would not be a feeling in NVC language, but I will use it to make another point briefly. That point is that Marshall states, with what appears to be a lot of authority, that such words are not really feelings, but rather evaluations or thoughts. I, however, am not so sure. I find that I don't agree with Marshall on all of his definitions of feelings and neeeds, but that is a topic for a complete article. I discuss it somewhat in this article on cause and effect, but incompletely, or let's say not to my satisfaction, so I plan to write more about it.

Now let me jump to the organization called CNVC. As I see it, CNVC now is a "central bank", let's say, of NVC "knowledge." Or at least it seems they want to be that. When I say "they," I don't even know who I am talking about specifically. And that is a bit of a worry to me. I don't know if "they" care about or value me. But I do know that "they" have aligned themselves with the US legal system. When I say aligned I mean they have chosen to rely on the US legal rules about contracts and copyrights, which are, of course, backed up by the full power of the US government -- a power which personally frightens me a great deal. I say CNVC is relying upon the power of the US government because of my reading of the CNVC agreement, or contract, with their "Certified Trainers."

Here is an excerpt:

If, after reasonable attempts, the parties are unable to resolve the dispute as provided above, than [sic] the parties agree to the right to enforce this Agreement though the courts in the State of New Mexico, United States or the Federal courts sitting therein.

CNVC is also the "central bank" of what I will call NVC money. What I mean by "NVC money" is money made from training people on how to use NVC ideas. I am over-simplifying a bit, but I trust the reader will be able to get my main ideas. CNVC is either requesting or requiring the greater of 10% of a trainer's annual revenue, or $300 US dollars per year. See full excerpt below.

What worries me is that trainers around the world are sending some of their money to a central place. That money is then, it seems to me, used as a goverment would use taxes, i.e. both to help and control its citizens or members. The worry, of course, is how much of the former is done and how much of the latter.

Another concern I have is what will happen when Marshall dies? Marshall is by no doubt a visionary. I fear, though, that he is also a bit charismatic. I fear some are "converted" to become his "followers" in a way which is uncomfortably close to how one religion converts members to another.

More specifially, I fear that Marshall's ideas could become too much of a "system" - a concern I have noticed is shared by others. Still more specifically, I fear that there are those who will try to apply his "system" without deeply understanding what I will call the "big picture." The big picture as I sense it, is hard for me to describe, but I will try to put it in my words.

It has to do with more than non-violence. It has to do with more than empathy. It is more than conflict resolution. It is more than a new or improved form of communication. I believe it is entirely possible, for example, to have improved communication in the same culture of domination. For example, if we consider that the US courts could become involved in NVC matters, the belief in improved communication is unlikely to have much real impact. The fact that CNVC would include this clause is a major warning bell to me that someone has not fully understood Marshall's ideas, or someone thing else has gone wrong somewhere along the way.

I also plan to write more about this part of the quote from John...

NVC is seen by many who know about it as a subculture, or even a cult by some. To whatever degree NVC is associated with certain beliefs it will be rejected by those who don’t share them.

For the rest of the article, go here:




Non Violent Communication is a scam as practiced by new-agism. Many in
the Northwest Permaculture Community are being victimized and deluded by
the NVC Scam because they have been brainwashed to think that heated and
even angry discussion is somehow "destructive" or "dangerous" and that
we should express narcissistic needs and wants instead of moving in the
passion of truth during discussion. NVC is a utopian lie that assumes
others give a damn about your wants and needs when most people can't and
never will unless you show them PASSION which the new agers falsely
label as "violence."

One dictionary definition of VIOLENCE is: "of, pertaining to, or
constituting a distortion of meaning or fact."

Yet the masters of "Non-Violent Communication" use NVC to distort
meaning and fact by drawing attention away from principles and facts to
personalities and feelings, relegating conversation to discussion of
fantasy, and distorting fact by mislabeling "conversation" as
"communication" when they are two very different things.


NVC is really a coercive method of mislabeling passionate opposition as
"violent" to prevent honest passion from entering a discussion, while
the attacker appears to be calm, labeling the appearance of calm, rather
than truth, as the hallmark of "communication." This keeps deceitful
manipulators in control of a conversation with subtle techniques of
attack in which they label honest opposition as angry, violent, etc. to
draw attention away from or distort facts. It is part of the moral
relativism that allows the crafty to define or defy the moral ground
through subtle coercion.

The pusher of NVC likes to apply his rhetoric to attack anyone he
disagrees with by labeling the oppostion as angry, rather than
discussing the facts at hand. It's a happy exercise in delusional
thinking and maintaining self-delusion and focus on one's own wants and
needs at any cost, regardless of whom is hurt or abused by dishonesty.

NVC is part of the new-age cult of personality that deals with someone's
personality rather than his character. Yet any unprincipled salesman can
put on a nice personality before he sells you a stolen car or a lemon.
You may feel all warm and fuzzy about the sale until sometime down the
road the cops stop you at gunpoint or the lemon breaks down and strands
you in the Mohave Desert.

Such is the way of NVC. The manipulator leaves you holding his mental
disease in a parched mental wasteland.

An outline addresses the scam of NVC:

This person reports that her employer made attendance at an NVC training mandatory.



{ 2005 01 26 }
This Here Giraffe, Laughed

Giraffe. Listen with giraffe ears.Jackal ears.

How being trained in non violent communication can make you violent.

My office has a Training Budget and a Training Committee. Sometimes the Training Committee takes money from the Training Budget and invests it in an educational program for the rest of us. If our boss thinks it’s a worthwhile program, she is apt to make the program mandatory. Whether this is a good idea or not really depends on the source of the program. If it’s in-house, chances are that you’ll survive with your sanity intact. It is not, let me assure you, because your colleagues are wiser or more fascinating than outside trainers. It is because your colleagues fear you. They know that if they put on a training session that is stupid or boring or offensive – they know that you will be vengeful. You will be less likely to help them out with inconvenient work requests. You will be less likely to ask them to lunch. You will push their food to the very back of the office fridge – right underneath the spot where the freezer leaks. This is why in-house trainings – although not always fabulous – have a good chance of being bearable.

The training program we experienced the other day was from Outside.

It was an all-day training program in Non-Violent Communication. Let me say that again. ALL DAY. Ok. Moving on. So, our boss made the training mandatory. Mandatory. Enforced attendance at an all day training session on non-violent communication. Obviously she was testing us by inciting very-violent communication urges.

Non-violent communication is apparently a technique that was developed by Marshall Rosenberg. I mention Marshall only because our trainer mentioned Marshall. Every. Two. Minutes. “Marshall says…” “I once saw Marshall do this…” “When Marshall developed this program…” “Several times a year I go home to the mothership to rub Marshall’s butt…” Cult. The place is obviously a cult. Mass weddings and the ATF are only a compound away for Marshall, I fear.

The training was your basic non-confrontational stuff about problem-solving. Except it lasted ALL DAY. Perhaps I’ve mentioned that before. Anyway, it was pretty much like the training I had in college when I was a hall advisor – you know, “When you play your music loudly after midnight it makes me feel frustrated because I have an early class and I need to get sleep, so would you be willing to turn the music down after 11pm?” Blah blah blahdeedah. Heard it before. But – everyone can probably stand to have a refresher in that stuff now and then. I figured I’d probably pick up at least one new thing that I could use.

The trainer himself was a mild-mannered-looking guy (although he did have that therapist look that says he’s accommodating to the world and then a tyrant at home). He walked through the steps of Marshall’s “technique” in a painfully slow manner. He told illustrative (and tedious) stories about getting his son to take out the trash. He forced us to tell him what kind of emotions we might have in difficult situations. And then. And then he pulled out the hand puppets. Let me say that again. HAND PUPPETS. Specifically, he pulled out a giraffe puppet and a jackal puppet. When speaking to someone about a problem, you have to speak as though you are a giraffe: gently, patiently, and with empathy. Do not speak harshly, judgmentally, and with antagonism, i.e., like a jackal. He repeated this point several times. Not because we were unable to understand the point, I think, but because we were dazed by the fact that there was a grown man in the middle of the room doing a puppet show.

After the lunch break we all came back. Hoping against hope that there would be no more puppets. Alas. Not only were there puppets again, but in the middle of his discussion about how to empathize with the other person, we were told to “listen with giraffe ears.” And that’s when he put on the fuzzy giraffe-ear headband. A couple of minutes after that he exchanged it for a fuzzy jackal-ear headband. He must have said something in between, but, frankly, I couldn’t hear anything because I was in shock. Do you know how hard it is to take someone seriously when he is wearing a fuzzy animal-ear headband? Does he really think that we will be able to communicate at all, much less non-violently, while envisioning ourselves with giraffe ears? Is this part of the cult initiation? Does Marshall have a giraffe fetish? Does he like to play Jackals and Giraffes in the bedroom with his many cult wives? What the hell is happening?!

I don’t remember much else from the training session. Trauma will do that to a person, you know. Although I half-considered wearing a cat-ear headband to the office this morning. To signify that from now on I’ll be listening with the ears of an animal that ignores everything you say.

[Flaming Lips lyrics = 1]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2016 07:09AM by corboy.

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Re: Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 15, 2017 09:16AM


(small example from a discussion)


With respect to things that make it like a cult, some people have already mentioned how NVC people have their own language. In this post I expand on that. In another post I will write about how it is a defensive, closed group.

So as far as jargon, I got really tired, for example, of the following things I heard over and over:

From Rosenberg in particular:

"what's alive in you"
"what would make make life more wonderful"

From Rosenberg and followers

requests, demands, strategies, willing

From followers

be present, presence, make space, hold space open


Here is an example of how Rosenberg talks, writes:

Our training in Nonviolent Communication helps participates gain skill in expressing two things: (1) what’s alive in you right now, and (2) what would make life more wonderful. You learn how to say just that without any criticism or demand. Just say what’s alive in you, how you are in other words, and what would make life wonderful. And no matter what other people say, hear only what’s alive in them and what would make life wonderful.

A Conversation With Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Read more: []


There are a few things I have seen about NVC which are similar to cults, or religions. Actually, these can be talked about individually. So I will say a few words about the religious aspect after I talk about how it is stagnant, closed and defensive.

By stagnant, defensive and closed what I mean is that I saw these things:

Rosenberg is the only guru. What he said seems to be almost written in stone.

Typically, when I have questioned or challenged things, the NVC people have gotten defensive. This has happened in three countries now: the USA, Portugal and now Brazil. Dominic Barter in Brazil has been an exception for the most part.

Also, nothing ever seems to be verified scientifically.

More specifically about how it has become like a religion, at least in Brazil are the following problems:

Since Rosenberg is dead now people have to "interpret" what he said. They can do this in pretty much way they want.

In Brazil there are a lot of people offering their services as trainers and facilitators. Most charge, of course. Dominic is again the exception, working only for donations for the past 15 or 20 years or so as I understand it.

Like religious leaders, the trainers seemed to be competing for followers and market share, each with their own "brand" of NVC. They will each say or imply that their version of NVC is the "right" or "true" one. This was a bit like someone trying to say what a "real" Christian or Muslim or Jew is.

I also saw some people almost give away their brains and indepedence to some of the trainers or practice group facilitators. I am exaggerating a bit, of course. But it did scare me a little.

I also saw a similarity to relgion or spirituality in the sense that it seemed people were being sold a set of beliefs that helped them feel better. One parent was told, for example, that he didn't really cause someone else to feel hurt by things he had said or done in a practice group. This helped him feel less guilty. Instead of apologizing to the person, he basically blamed her and said "She chose" this and "she chose" that. When I said I was afraid he would mess up his child by doing that kind of thing (as I see many parents do), he got very defensive, which I guess is understandable,

Also, in general, I did not see many critical thinkers, atheists or skeptics. I did not see many people looking for many cause and effect relationships, such as the relationship between various types of abuse, including emotional and psychological, and its effects.

Many people seemed to prefer to believe that we nearly always cause our own pain and unhappiness by the way we "hear" or interpret things. Therefore if we chose to hear things in a different way, or not hear them at all, we can be instantly happier.

Another problem related to cause and effect or responsibility is that th majority of trainers follow Rosenberg in saying that it is not ok to say something like "I feel judged." They say we are "evaluating" what others are doing when we say this.

So they seem to create the illusion that people don't really actually judge us - or ignore or neglect us. It is all just the way we hear or interpret or perceive said or done to us.

They have a list of "banned" words (my term), like judged, ignored, neglected and invalidated. And they have a very short list of suggested "acceptable" feelings and needs.

Feeling important, or in control, are not real needs, according to NVC websites, books etc.

For me, though, it is very obvious that many of us, if not all, to one degree or another, need, at time at least, to feel important and/or in control.

We also do judge and invalidate each other. So over-all they seem to be twisting reality to suit their beliefs.

Read more: []


Here is a good example of what bothers me about what Rosenberg taught. Is is an article where a guy is talking about how "heard criticism" when his wife said something.

I am curious what others have to say about it.



Read more: []

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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: cryst-oh ()
Date: November 14, 2017 04:56AM

How can one tell if a person is part of NVC without being told?

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Re: Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 17, 2018 01:06AM

Here is an earlier discussion on compassionate communication


People expressed concern about what happens if you are told to use this
in all circumstances and ignore the possibility that you're dealing with
someone who has an exploitative agenda and ready to use your good faith against you.

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Re: Did you get the hand-puppets?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 17, 2018 11:55PM

Hotel California Cosmology 2009



At a certain point, though, you grow up. The charismatic charmer is revealed to be a narcissistic jerk. The clever facilitator is actually a control freak. And moments where it seemed something was being accomplished turn out to have been anomalies rather than progress.

If your goal is to find yourself again after going through a life-changing transformation, this is the time when you need to bow out and forge your own path. But some people take the opposite tack. While others are working to individuate from the group, these folks decide that what the group needs is to become more enmeshed with each other. More Kool-Aid please, and double the dose.

These are the conditions in which Hotel California Cosmology (HCC) thrives.

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” as the song helpfully informs us.

HCC is all about manipulation, not of experience but of how you perceive and are allowed to talk about your experience.

And whereas the best examples of California Cosmology merge personal gnosis and critical thinking, with HCC there is only room for uncritical thinking and emotion—lots of emotion.

Analysis and logic are thrown out the window like so much old-paradigm hooey, and in its place we can all agree with each other some more about how we are experiencing something truly radical and life-affirming.

(old paradigm [])

The best example of this is Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

NVC []

which has produced the most mind-numbing blather, and the most sanctimonious adherents, of any fad I have ever encountered. NVC completely strips dialogue of any accountability. It considers not just judgment but educating, praising, apologizing, and correcting to be coercive, blame-based communication patterns.

Intention is king in NVC, and if I tell you I will do something and then don’t do it, number one you can’t blame me because blame is a throwback to violent communication. Number two, I can hold the space for you to express your feelings if you can do so in a non-judgmental way that at no point asks me to apologize for my failure. Number three it was not a failure, and I appreciate the connection I feel with you around hearing your authentic experience. Number four, I hear that you still need me to do what I intended to do, and I am expressing that it is still my intention. Now, don’t we both feel better?

NVC is such a deep study in grandiose irrelevance, I’m sure I will have more to say about it at a later date. For now, though, I will close with a handy list of things to check for if you suspect you are caught up in a HCC vortex. I wrote these reality-check points in a comment to an earlier post of mine, but have rewritten them here in a way that is relevant to a broader range of Hotel California groups and ideas. If you suspect you are in a group that is under the influence of its own Kool-Aid, here are some things to check for in meetings, ceremonies and conversation.


*Is deference always paid to the person with the biggest personality?

*Are moments of real connection repeatedly broken by a call to arms over a signature issue?

*Is the “ideal vision” invoked at times when questions or divergent opinions are expressed? Does that effectively end the debate?

*Do the leaders play on the emotions of others to mask a lack of integrity in themselves?

*Are policies and goals framed in an either/or, good/bad manner, rather than acknowledging a range of beliefs or possibilities?

*Are ethical concerns re-framed as issues of personal choice or group diversity, in order to deflect personal accountability? Is this maneuver successful?

Corboy note: in one of the comments following this article, another suggestion was

*When an idea, structure, or dynamic is called into question, is it framed and named as a personal attack by those invested in the idea, structure, or dynamic?

Comments following this article are very interesting.

TO encourage readers to visit Anne's blog, here are a few excerpts from
the comments.


1/21/2009 at 4:03 pm
I have at least one more thing to add to your checklist. I know I can probably come up with more…but this is the most blatant, pervasive, and destructive dynamic I’ve experienced in the HCC culture I still have limited association with. It’s this particular dynamic which distorts NVC into cult communication. So here goes;

When an idea, structure, or dynamic is called into question, is it framed and named as a personal attack by those invested in the idea, structure, or dynamic?

If so, you are in HCC territory. The best thing to do is to immediately name what is happening. Then, prepare to be told that although the words weren’t technically a personal attack….they caused a “feeling of being attacked” and in HCC territory there is no differentiation for those in the most power…if they Feel something, it is True. I have countless examples of this, but my favorite is being told that something I wrote on an e-mail list, although the words were beautiful and loving, and on the surface no one could find fault in them, the reader KNEW because of how she felt that they were in fact a personal attack.

As a therapist, I work helping people understand that feelings are simply that….feelings. They can act as alerts and give information, but all too often our feelings can be like misfiring car alarms….not truly reflecting what is happening outside our own operating system.

I’ve used NVC as a tool and taught it to clients, but it is a tool that does not work correctly when accompanied with the above dynamic. If that dynamic is operating, NVC not only becomes completely insipid, but downright manipulative. Feelings are used as weapons, but of course, in the most nonviolent way. But then HCC culture is indeed a house of mirrors.

The most tragic thing to me is that if these dynamics are operating, the most idealistic ideas/values of a community lose depth and the community is doomed it to operate on the spiritual level of a young child

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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 18, 2018 12:35AM


Do you know how it feels to have somebody say that your heart-break is simply emotional attachment?

How wonderful it feels when experiencing grief and a death in the family to have some smart-ass spout how your pain is caused by attachment. The worst part is that these types of individuals fail to see how hurtful their presence and words still are. All the finances spent to learn how to communicate non-violently are wasted.

"In my own experience, people who believe they are non-violent in communication are the worst listeners.

"I cannot describe how delicious it is when expressing a perspective to have somebody claim that its a projection. And wrong. Whenever somebody starts spouting about projections, mirrors and pseudo-psychology my alarm bells go off. Such an individual is, for me, a well-intentioned individual with whom I cannot communicate

For more, read here - including the comments

The Hidden Violence in Non-Violent, New-Age Communication.


Many welcomed the author's insights and contributed to the comment discussion.

Here are a very few:


Jade Wah'oo Grigori says:
November 29, 2014 at 19:28
Reviewing the bulk of these comments I am struck with how many are jumping up and saying "but that is not *real* NVC!. If you only knew the one and true NVC you would not be so wrong about what you are writing!" This glossing over of the authentic communication of the author is akin, in my view, to Christians (Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists) who, when confronted with the brutality committed in the name of their religion say the same thing: "Oh, but those aren't *real* Members of the Faith! If you only knew the One True Belief, you would not be so wrong/damned, doomed/etc!"

"Jackel ears?!" "Giraffe ears?" (In NVC they teach these two types of listening by using hand puppets. Read here for a description. Try not to laugh - or puke


[] )


Morgan says:
January 18, 2016 at 08:30
I have to say that I heartily agree with a lot of what you are saying. My husband has Asperger’s and we both thought NVC would be the perfect way to navigate our huge communication gaps. While it does help in some scenarios, I’m basically trapped in an NVC hell right now and am wishing we never stumbled on the program. Since he is so intelligent, he is focused primarily on the formula and actual words being spoken. This part is hard for me because I’m so adept at “jackal language” so even if my heart is the right place, I might accidentally slip in a judgement word, and what I say will not be heard unless I formulate it “correctly.” In fact, it causes a fight in which he will go off on a (usually very anti NVC) tyrade about my poor communication. He seems incapable of using “giraffe ears” or cutting me some slack while I learn. What’s more is that in the context of NVC, he believes no need is too small and armed with the knowledge that his needs are important, our lives are just constantly about his unmet needs now .. And if he phrases what those unmet needs are to me, he expects instant empathy and a positive response to his request, and the empathy has to be exactly in NVC form or he will not accept it. I also can no longer express myself without adding a request or he will get angry ..

Sometimes there isn’t a request. Sometimes I don’t even want empathy! I’m simply informing him of my current state so he can connect with me (“so that’s the request,” he says, “that you would like me to connect with you.” Ummm isn’t that obvious??). This has created a dynamic in which I feel it is my job to fix all of his unmet needs and negative feelings, which isn’t fair.

I’m also expected to communicate all of my unmet needs and I just need more privacy and agency than that, also I do not always think I can even begin to express myself properly with NVC depending on the scenario. He’s decided this is the only way and if I don’t use it, I’m being “abusive” or “violent” with my language and am accused of not participating in the improvement of our marriage.

I’ve tried using NVC to resolve all of this but he’s not having it. I mention all of this because NVC is at it’s core a very lovely thing but in the wrong hands can be used a tool for power, to have others fix negative feelings, and a way to always sound holier-than-though to the person who struggles with the formula.

I also think it’s a bit cheesy at times. There, I said it! That felt good.

It’s just so unnatural for me and some days that’s the only way he will talk to me and it gets to be exhausting to not be able to speak in a way that comes naturally. It feels very controlling on my end and I don’t see a way out. I just hope if we continue training that he will see that he’s not practicing correctly and adjust, but I’m honestly not sure that I will ever be happy about being expected to communicate this way all the time.


nowhereman says:
January 3, 2015 at 11:35
The other side of the same postmodern coin: in my experience, especially in cross-cultural communication, assuming that good intentions, attitudes, gestures and personalities are evident for everyone is violent. It assumes a shared reality with the other who might not have your same cultural/linguistic background… or a new-agey belief in universal telepathy. Thus people not being kind or aware enough to explain their assumptions. In case of background diifference, more words can be a good tool, though i also know about the disembodiedness of some nvc people.


Nicole says:
November 25, 2014 at 14:04
Thank you for this article! There are so many people out there now charging for their advice and so many of them are very passive aggressive. They are quick to point out people’s flaws and use this to convince them they need that person to fix them. Often times there is nothing “wrong” with us or “broken” but by using these words it is easy to convince these people otherwise.


Kimberly Lo says:
July 20, 2014 at 13:54
In all fairness, I have had very personal experience with at least two individuals who underwent extensive NVC training with certified trainers and who spent a ton of time and money on workshops, etc. who without a doubt fit the description of the people in this post. (In one case, one individual was physically violent-shoving, shaking, etc.) These were two people who caused a great deal of hurt to those around them and seemed totally oblivious to the fact.

Does that mean there is no value to NVC or that all people who are into are like this? No, of course not. However, I do think someone people who get heavily involved get so transfixed on saying "the right words" that they totally ignore their actions.

FWIW, I didn't find this article "alienating". Thank you to the author for writing this.

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Jamie says:
July 20, 2014 at 09:17
Thank you for this Keith. I've dealt with and still am dealing with someone who chooses his words "carefully" but are still as painful to receive than before (when they were not masked). It is confusing and difficult to be on the receiving end, and sometimes it feels like I've been stripped of any defenses. I truly never realized this before, and I am so grateful for your article – I feel like I can see the intent of his messages much more clearly. Thank you.

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bhaktilila says:
July 21, 2014 at 13:19
Many years ago, I lived and worked in a retreat centre that required all of us to study NVC. The owner…who insisted on this form of communication…was probably the angriest, most violent person I had ever met at that point in my life. In front of clients, he used this language as a sort of smoke screen to cover what was bubbling beneath the surface. Then, when he got angry about something (which was often) he was anything but non-violent. At one point, I was so shocked by his behaviour that I asked him why he demanded that we study NVC when he clearly wasn't walking his talk. His response was something about projection…and then told me to focus on my own issues. At one point, he told me to f- off. Ha! I look back on it now and laugh at the irony of it all but at the time, it was incredibly challenging , manipulative and disturbing.

Kimberly Lo says:
July 21, 2014 at 16:30
Wow. He sounds eerily like the person I mentioned. This guy totally used it to cover up the fact that underneath his New Age persona, he was a volcano ready to explode. Few people ever made me fear for my safety like this guy did.


Andrew says:
July 24, 2014 at 09:36
Beloved, you use an entire article to 'have a go,' in very strong terms about NVC who you say are inconsiderate and unsympathetic. Don't you see the irony in your argument. The same thing you accuse them off you are doing to them! Welcome to the world of blame! What underlies your article is a clear grievance against some individuals in your life. Would it not be better to broach the subject with them about how this has affected you rather than a rant and rave?

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Ali says:
November 25, 2014 at 17:39
"Beloved" is probably the most condescending thing I've ever heard someone called by a stranger.

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bee says:
January 9, 2015 at 05:41
we are all beloveds. this type of term exists in every culture. habibi is another common one in the middle east. some strangers have such confidence in their unconditional love that they realize that everyone truly is a beloved in the eyes of god. i agree with the post by andrew.

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jacobi says:
July 30, 2015 at 23:45
too right

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LivingArtisan says:
July 24, 2014 at 21:08
It would be a kindness to see that I am not putting down NVC as a system … please take the time to read what is being written rather than get defensive because it appears that I am putting down your favorite communication style.

And, for the record, the people who have taken NVC who have crossed my path have been the most brutal in communication.

Though my intent was to communicate … well … pretty much what the subject line entails.

And rather than labeling this as a rant and a rave … and proving my point … how about seeing the integrity in what is being communicated about the hidden violence in new age communication.

Thank you for taking the time to read and applying reading comprehension.

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Kundan says:
November 24, 2014 at 13:57
Yeah, he just proved your point. LOL. He is accusing you of 'projection' without actually using that word. And calling you 'Beloved'? Unbelievable! LOL

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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 18, 2018 12:44AM

Basic Pitfalls of Using NVC
If you have the language down, but not the spirit behind it, beware...
Posted Jun 14, 2012


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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: August 18, 2018 12:31PM

From corboy's above link:

"...the premises of NVC, especially with the idea of transcending right/wrong thinking completely,..."

From what I have heard out of some of these people, it goes so far as to transcend even "desirable/undesirable," thinking, as I also recall being told that we must give up our preferences and aversions.

From my experience in the current "New Age" community, euphemisms are used to describe just about everything, including crimes.

I worked in a metaphysical shop. As with most businesses, there was a problem with shoplifting. If someone stole an item, about 70% of the people around there would refuse to say that s/he stole it, but would instead say "she took it." They would speak of it as if no crime had been committed.

Another one I have heard increasingly over the past few years is "polyamorous." My first experience of that was when a guy was making suggestive comments to me, even though his wife was standing right there. I was uncomfortable and mentioned it. His response was, "oh, I'm polyamorous." As far as I could tell, what he was actually saying was, "I'll bang anything that moves."

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Re: anyone have experience with Non-Violent communication (nvc)?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 18, 2018 11:11PM

I recall reading somewhere that if you suspect someone is mind gaming you
using NVC or Landmark or anything else, just reply:

"I have nothing to say."

Courteous, civil, end of discussion.

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