2019 was a year without a New Year’s resolution for me. I cannot tell whether that made any difference , for good or bad. However, I was inclined to give it a try for 2020 — which, at least, marks a new decade. My goal is to communicate in a non-violent way in order to improve relationships, and decrease stress levels in everyday communications.
The best thing about my actual resolution is that although I had no recollection of the 2016 one, it’s a refinement of it. In 2016, i wanted to cut out negativeity, in general. This time, I promise myself not to communicate in a violent way any more, i.e. to support partnership and resolve conflicts among people, within relationships and in society in interpersonal communication.
The concept of Nonviolent Communication was developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg, beginning in the 1960s. When I first heard of it, I was sceptical: it sounded like trying to fight an armed aggressor with soft words, only. And, in essence, it is exactly that — though nonviolent communication starts much earlier. First, it is about verbal and non-verbal communication. Before we say anything, we have demonstrated some attitude towards our communication partner. I start with this and will try to be open towards anybody who approaches me. Then, if addressed, I try to react at least in a neutral, if not friendly way. As easy as it sounds, as difficult it can become. Just try to react in a friendly way when a stranger suddenly addresses you in public.
Non-Violent Communication Improves Relationships
And this is just a casual communication. The hardest challenge for me is communicating in a nonviolent way in my family circle — with my wife being target No 1. It’s not that we had disputes all the time, but it’s very strange that I am being most critical with the person I know best. Maybe you have a similar experience, maybe not. She will serve as a rule of being successful with the new non-violent communication habit, or not
It’s an experiment, a tough one, and I know I will fail. However, failing in this case means to realise that something has been wrong and could or should be done better next time. You’ll read again about the results at the end of 2020 — habe a great start in the new decade!