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  • Writer's pictureJuliana

Best Books on Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a powerful framework developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg for fostering empathy, understanding, and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Nonviolent Communication focuses on observable facts, feelings, fundamental human needs, and making requests - and this focus intentionally steers users away from blame and judgment. By practicing NVC, individuals can learn to communicate in a way that supports connection, resolves conflicts peacefully, and cultivates compassionate relationships.

It's important to note that while Nonviolent Communication is focused on communication skills, it also encompasses a broader philosophy and mindset that emphasizes empathy, respect, and nonviolence in all aspects of life.

If you're looking for books on nonviolent communication, here are some that I recommend:

"Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" by Marshall B. Rosenberg:

Of course this book is first on our list. This is the foundational book written by the creator of Nonviolent Communication. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles, techniques, and philosophy of NVC, along with numerous practical examples and exercises.

Interestingly enough, Marshall Rosenberg actually once said he wished he hadn't written this book, because he doesn't want people to think that all they had to do was read a book and then they would fully understand NVC. Rather, NVC takes practice, dedication, and ideally guidance from skilled NVC trainers.

While we agree with Marshall on this point, the book is still worth reading and serves as a great educational tool. If you are interested in guidance from skilled NVC trainers, check out this Intro to NVC Course.

Find the book here.

"Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook" by Lucy Leu:

This workbook serves as a companion to Marshall Rosenberg's book and offers a range of exercises, activities, and practice scenarios to help readers internalize and apply the principles of NVC in their daily lives.

As noted earlier, practical application of NVC and dedicated practice are imperative to the learning process, which is why we think this book is valuable. One can't just read their way through a mastery of something - they must also do.

Find the book here.

"Getting Past the Pain Between Us: Healing and Reconciliation Without Compromise" by Marshall B. Rosenberg:

This book focuses on applying Nonviolent Communication principles to resolve conflicts and heal emotional wounds in personal relationships. It offers insights into the dynamics of conflicts and provides guidance on fostering empathy, understanding, and reconciliation.

While NVC can be used with anyone in any situation, in conflict or not, it is particularly useful (and equally challenging) in situations of deep hurt within personal relationships. For some reason, it is often the case that the people we are closest to are also the people in which we use violent language with the most often. I believe it is something about comfort and trust - trust that those people will continue to be there regardless of how we treat them. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't treat them with empathy, consideration, and respect.

This book dives into those kinds of conflicts and how NVC can heal deep emotional wounds within close relationships.

Find the book here.

"My Link to Mildred: Interrupting the Epidemic of Trauma via Nonviolent Communication" by Dr. Cindy Bigbie:

"The trauma in your life didn't start with you, but you have the power to end it."

- Dr. Cindy Bigbie

I may be a little biased when it comes to this book, as it is the story and work of my friend and mentor, Cindy Bigbie, however it is a truly powerful and touching read. "My Link to Mildred" is not only a book about NVC; it is a book about psychological functioning, trauma responses in the brain and body, generational trauma, and family. Dr. Bigbie's book chronicles the trauma experienced through her own family. She also provides windows into the trauma of some of her former students. Most importantly, her book shows how Nonviolent Communication interrupted those cycles of trauma while fostering healing and connection.

The other books on this list are much more educational. This book is as well, but it is more narrative than instruction. Think creative nonfiction meets self-help. And it will likely bring you to tears.

Find the book here.

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