When communication creates a meaningful connection, it is one of the most beautiful things a human being can experience. Occasionally, it just happens. More often than not, it requires the practice of skills which include self-awareness, attentive listening, a wise choice of words, tone of voice, and body language.
In this episode, I feature a conversation about NVC or Nonviolent Communication with trainer and relationship expert, Marianne van Dijk. When she discovered the skills taught by American psychologist, Marshell Rosenberg, they became central to her work. I discovered her popular YouTube Channel, Cup of Empathy, through her video, “10 Main Principles for Easy Connection from Marshall Rosenberg.”
About Marianne van Dijk
Marianne is a relationship coach and expert in communication in love relationships. Over the past years, she’s trained hundreds of people from the US, the Netherlands, and other countries. She owns the biggest Youtube channel worldwide about Nonviolent Communication or NVC, and she’s been featured on national and international television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and podcasts. Born in the Netherlands, she speaks Dutch and English.
“I would say that empathy is to be with whatever is going on in the other person, so especially their feelings. It could also be their thoughts.”
– Marianne van Dijk
Nonviolent Communication or NVC “in a nutshell.”
- The idea of right and wrong stands in the way of connection.
- Judgment is natural. It can be helpful to tune in to and interpret our judgments before voicing them.
- Beware of “pseudo feeling” statements. These are expressions of a thought, not a feeling; for example, I feel ignored. (I’m judging you for ignoring me.) More examples include, I feel cornered, intimidated, manipulated, pressured, or misunderstood.
- Instead, ask: What is my thought? What is the feeling behind it? What is it that I need? (understanding, respect, affection, etc.)
- Slow down.
- Feelings are an indicator that you need to pay attention to something.
- Include compassion in the learning process.
“Empathy . . . is like a muscle you can train and it’s really vital for any kind of relationship, not just a relationship with other people, but also with yourself. . . . Empathy combined with honesty creates connection.”
– Marianne van Dijk
- Download Marianne’s list of feelings and list of needs at her website, www.cupofempathy.com
- Learn by watching Marianne’s videos on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/cupofempathy
- Marshall Rosenberg’s Center for Nonviolent Communication, https://www.cnvc.org/