[Adjective; ~Pronunciation: /vahy-uh-luh nt-les/]
- Definition: Being able to hold a conversation, even when you’re angry, without bashing the other person’s head in (I might have been watching too much The Walking Dead…). Violent-less communication is a great way to make your point without starting a fight. If only we all could be a little less rude at times.
“Anger is the enemy of non-violence, and pride is a monster that swallows it up”
– Mahatma Gandhi –
Last Saturday I was not in the mood for another information day for another potential course in coaching. I mean, if you have a flyer with multiple spelling and/or grammar mistakes, it’s not likely I’ll think much of your company at first-hand.
However, I am never too good to admit I was wrong.
I went and I am glad I did! The founder and lead instructor showed us the course layout and on it was something she referred to as “violent-less communication”: when you are upset, there is a four-step method to get your point across without starting a fight.
Here are the four steps. Please bear in mind I was only given global information as it was an informative afternoon and not yet the real course (in other words: there’s more to “violent-less communication” than what I’m sharing with you now):
- State the fact that got you upset. Don’t elaborate, just state one simple fact that annoyed you.
- Explain how you feel by referring to one of the basic emotions: anger, happiness, sadness and fear.
- Link points 1 and 2 to the other party by claiming you’d imagined things to be different. For instance, if you’re upset someone was late, say you’re angry because you had been looking forward to seeing them and now you get to spend less time with them.
- File a request. In the example of point 3, you could request the other party to be on time for your next get together.
I was utterly fascinated by this short list, and immediately decided to put it in practice with the “friend” I mentioned in this post.
The text I wrote her was so short, decent, honest and beautiful, I was actually proud of myself for coming up with it. I stated her remark about my emotions not being interesting had hurt me (1), that I felt angry and sad (2) because I assumed we had a friendship based on equality and mutual respect (3), and I requested her to leave me be for a while so I could sort things out (4).
Her reply was equally non-violent, albeit rude in a different way: she claimed she didn’t remember saying anything like that and was sorry I thought of her this way.
I say: this violent-less way of communicating works! I am going to try and implement it in more situations!
As for the people in the video: maybe Clinton and Trump should have tried this, too. It surely would have made their debates less painful.
But maybe singing works too, who knows.
As for the rest of America: good luck! Whoever wins, let’s all be violent-less about it and pretend we had the time of our lives ;)