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So why does non-violence work for effective communication? For starters, violence is often matched by more violence. If you use physical force to get your message across–whether you are communicating with one person or a group—your opponents and your listeners will most likely stop listening and start fighting back. It’s human nature to defend yourself when you feel you are in danger, and that violent showdown rarely ends in success for either party. In a Ted Talk in 2013, (recounted in an article for the Washington Post), political scientist Erica Chenoweth explains that when she looked at violent versus non-violent resistance in the past 100+ years, she found that there was a much higher rate of success from the nonviolent efforts. Her findings support that “using violence also tends to reduce public support for an uprising.”

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