Nonviolent Communication: the 9 Characteristics that Define It

The characteristics of communication based on mutual understanding.


Communication is a complex process; Even for people who speak the same language, it can be difficult to understand each other.

This is because when we express our ideas, thoughts or emotions orally or in writing, we are aware of what we want to express, and not what others can understand.

In the present article we will talk about nonviolent communication, we will give some techniques to improve our communication and achieve to be more assertive when we express our thoughts.

How is non-violent communication?

Nonviolent communication corresponds mainly to the degree of empathy that is established between people. The higher the subject’s empathic level, the lower the violence in his communication style.

Quite the opposite occurs when it comes to unattractive subjects, who are unable to put themselves in the place of the other and do not perceive the discomfort that their words can cause in other people.

We will see some techniques to promote the style of assertive communication in ourselves and in others.

1. Recognize our emotions

The more aware we are of how we feel at a given moment, the more capable we are of avoiding violent communication.

Sometimes, when we are upset, we usually say things that we later regret. Then, if we are able to recognize our annoyance, we will also be able to avoid expressing opinions or words that are violent and with the capacity to harm others.

What is recommended is to remain silent and go to a place where we can think clearly, and then issue our opinions calmly and assertively.

2. Put ourselves in the place of others

When we are ready to express ourselves, we should always take into account the particular situation in which other people find themselves in relation to one’s point of view.

In other words, let’s avoid touching sensitive topics for others in a light way; we must remember that for the other it is a delicate matter, which mobilizes him emotionally.

3. Practice assertive communication

We have already mentioned this aspect, now let’s see what it is about. Assertive communication consists in expressing our ideas and emotions in a clear way, so that the interlocutor does not have to make too much effort to understand what we are trying to tell him, because our messages are clear.

This prevents misunderstandings due to misinterpretation by the other person.

4. Implement active listening

In the process of communication, not only is it important to express oneself, it is also important to interpret the message that comes from the other person.

In the case of verbal communication, we must always listen carefully to what our speaker tells us. By doing this, we will be able to better understand the message they are trying to give us, and the answer we will give will be more accurate in terms of the subject.

5. Know how to reconsider our opinions

There is nothing to reconsider an opinion that at first seemed appropriate to us and that after listening to the argument of the other person we realized that we were wrong.

Learning to agree with others leads us to a better collective understanding, and makes us more empathetic.

Nobody owns absolute reason, that is why we must be careful not to fall into radicalism, otherwise we become prone to be violent people in all aspects.

6. Be informed

This point refers to the fact that when we do not have enough information on any subject, we could get to issue opinions that lack reason. It is better to make sure that we know the subject in depth before giving any sensitive opinion.

Misinformation only contributes to generating rumors and mistaken opinion matrices that can do a lot of damage both individually and collectively.

7. The speech must go according to the actions

As we saw earlier, communication is a complex process, which is not just verbal or written. An important part of communication goes through our behavior and our non-verbal communication.

It is important to make sure that our words are in line with what we do. It is not healthy for us to express some ideas and then do the opposite in practice, without mentioning that this can generate personal conflicts with others.

8. Avoid falling into provocations

It may happen that although we practice assertive and non-violent communication, situations arise where other people want to provoke us, trying to lose control of ourselves and act in the same way that they act.

When this happens, it will be best to avoid falling into a long discussion with these people. It is important to remember that we are not obliged to always respond to the whole world, sometimes it is better to keep silent knowing that in that way we avoid a greater conflict.

9. Surround ourselves with people who practice a language of peace

In the same way in which each of us influences the collective, the collective also influences us.