Wellness Workshop: Nonviolent Communication and Nurturing Harmony Through Daily Interactions

February 05, 2024 0 Comments

Wellness Workshop: Nonviolent Communication and Nurturing Harmony Through Daily Interactions

Ever found yourself ensnared in an every- day type of conversation where what was anticipated as normal discourse became words that felt like daggers, leaving scars that lingered long after the dialogue ceased? Welcome to the realm of violent communication – a battleground where commonplace discourse stings, and outright abuse thrives!

Violent communication is very common, in fact most of us engage with it in one way or another on a frequent basis, though some more than others. Violent communication can be disguised as dirty jokes, soft or hard manipulation and coercion, and even seemingly innocent sarcastic commentary. Becoming aware of this communication style is key, but how do we recognize when we are participating in it? In the ever evolving quest to become self aware through shadow work, its important to stay present, ditch the verbal (and mental) arsenal and explore the path of nonviolent communication, recognizing that love is absent when in the realm of any kind of violence.

Violent communication takes various forms, extending beyond the well-known culprits of abuse or insults. Examples include:

  • Manipulation: Manipulative, coercive language, or outright threats or ultimatums where individuals attempt to control or influence others through deceit or intimidation. This exists on a scale within varying degrees.
  • Sarcasm: Belittling comments or sarcasm, often dismissed as harmless under the cloak of “humor”, is actually criticism in disguise and can contribute to a negative atmosphere, especially in close relationships.
  • Blanket Statements: Blaming and generalizing language such as "they always" or "you never" can generalize and exacerbate conflicts. These statements often neglect nuances and step into one-sidedness, which is the opposite of universal love and acceptance.
  • Defensiveness: Kneejerk defensiveness without consideration of the other's perception or experience, stonewalling, and contempt are other indicators that communication is veering into dangerous territory. While it is important to recognize and be self aware of our emotions, it is also important to be aware of how we project these into the world and onto other people.
  • Gas Lighting: The subtlety of gas lighting, where manipulation leads someone to question their reality, adds another layer to the mix. Gas lighting can sometimes be a form of defensiveness (see above), where someone gaslights another person in order to avoid their own process of self awareness (which can be very uncomfortable!).
  • Self-Deprecation & Gossip: Talking badly about oneself is also a form of violent communication that can chip away at self-esteem or the way others perceive you. Likewise, and this may be obvious, but gossiping, talking badly, or sharing personal details about someone without them knowing is a form of violent communication and should be avoided if possible.

If violent communication is so common, why is it such a problem? If left unchecked, the common, yet toxic, communication patterns mentioned above can be emotionally damaging to all parties, escalate conflicts, erode relationships, and even contribute to the overwhelming and confusing barrage of information we encounter daily. Considering the speed at which information spreads these days, responsible communication demands a more thoughtful approach to dialogue. In the age of instant information (and misinformation), a single harmful phrase can ripple through networks and psyches, perpetuating negativity and widening divides.

Ok, so violent communication is incredibly common AND damaging. Then, how do we veer away from it on a personal and communal level? Welcome to the age of Aquarius! Engaging in nonviolent communication becomes crucial to fostering understanding and compassion: swap manipulation for cooperation, coercion for collaboration, sarcasm for genuine humor or none at all, and abuse for empathy. Let's cultivate an environment where words are not weapons, but tools for building bridges in our interconnected world! Think of it this way: what energy do you want to put out AND receive, and how can you do it? Be the light you see in the world!

Recognizing the signs of violent communication is the first step toward a more harmonious discourse. By replacing these harmful patterns with open dialogue, active listening (hearing is NOT the same things as listening folx!), and constructive feedback, we can break free from the patriarchal cycle of violence and create a world where words uplift rather than wound.

The power of nonviolent communication lies not just in changing individual interactions, but in contributing to a collective shift towards a more compassionate and understanding society.

Shop our Communication & Harmony Collection here for tools to help find inner and outer peace, and to dismantle violent communication habits.

Read more about Non Violent communication here:

Decolonizing Nonviolent Communication: A Path Towards Inclusive Dialogues on  Medium.com





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