UPDATED June 4th, 2018 

Do you know what NVC or non-violent communication is? Communicating with others is rarely an easy task. Whether you are trying to get your point across to coworkers, neighbors, friends or relatives, finding the words to represent how you feel can be tricky. And getting others to listen can be even harder. While sometimes it might feel like actions speak louder than words, violence is not the answer. Well-intentioned, smart and non-violent communication is the key to effectively expressing what you think and feel, while also creating a safe community and a peaceful state of co-existence.

So what exactly is non-violent communication? “Nonviolent Communication is based on the principles of nonviolence–the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.” It’s based on the theory that people are good and compassionate by nature, and they learn violent behavior from their surroundings. If we, as people, can steer our actions away from the violent path, and instead focus on developing a deeper connection and understanding of others, the world will be a much better place. To put it in even simpler terms, imagine you are telling your toddler to use his words to ask nicely for a toy, instead of kicking, screaming and pushing you until you listen. It’s as simple as that.

Practicing NVC for effective communication seems like such a no-brainer, and yet our emotions, our frustrations and our inability to find the right words to communicate what we are trying to say all make it incredibly challenging. But it’s also a crucial part of resolving conflicts in your own home and around the globe. Non-violent communication can save friendships and marriages, it can foster a sense of confidence and joy in our kids, and it can uplift and empower an entire community.

Read Related: The Art of Listening: 7 Reasons Why You Learn More by Keeping Your Mouth Shut