How to Practice Nonviolent Communication in Your Relationship

How to Practice Nonviolent Communication in Your Relationship

How to Practice Nonviolent Communication in Your Relationship

Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a way of communicating with yourself and others that focuses on understanding and empathy. It can be a powerful tool for strengthening relationships and resolving conflicts, but it takes practice to master. If you’re eager to learn how to practice nonviolent communication with your partner, read on.

The Basics of Nonviolent Communication

At its core, NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and empathy. It seeks to foster an environment in which people can feel heard, respected, and understood—and in which they can express their needs without fear of judgment or criticism. To practice NVC with your partner, start by using these four steps:

  1. Observe the Situation

    The first step is to observe the situation objectively. Ask yourself questions like “What do I see?” “What am I hearing?” “What are my bodily sensations?” This will help you get clear about what is actually happening in the moment so that you can respond from a place of clarity rather than emotion.

  2. Identify Your Feelings

    Once you have observed the situation objectively, identify what feelings it has triggered within you. Focus on describing how you feel rather than why you feel a certain way or blaming someone else for those feelings. For example, instead of saying “I feel angry because you didn’t listen to me,” simply say “I feel frustrated.”

  3. Identify Your Needs

    The next step is to identify your needs—the underlying cause of your emotions—in order to make them known without placing blame or judgement on anyone else involved in the situation. For example, instead of saying “You never listen!” try saying “I need more attention and understanding from my partner."

  4. Make Requests

    Finally, use this opportunity to make requests that will help meet your needs then present them in a positive manner rather than as demands or ultimatums (e.g., "Can we carve out some time for us each week?"). This will help ensure that both parties are heard and respected throughout the conversation while also helping make sure everyone's needs are being met as much as possible.


Nonviolent communication (NVC) is an effective tool for improving relationships and resolving conflicts but it takes time and effort to master it fully. By observing situations objectively, identifying your feelings and needs clearly, and phrasing requests positively, you can learn how to practice nonviolent communication with your partner effectively over time—which will ultimately lead to stronger connections between the two of you! If you're looking for marriage counselors in Winter Park who specialize in NVC-based therapy techniques, look no further than Orlando Thrive Therapy! Contact us today to book an appointment!

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.