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3 major tips to help you with non-violent communication

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

A frequent discussion in society these days is communication, or rather, how to communicate. In a lot of situations, we think and rethink several times before saying something difficult to someone, and all this tension could be solved if, instead of thinking about possible reactions, we thought about approaches, that is, ways of how to speak.

Difficult subjects are essential for communication because, through them, it’s possible to create relationships, intimacy, and baggage through life experiences. In the introduction to the book The Little Prince, there is a phrase that fits very well in this context, which mentions that “language is a source of misunderstandings”, and it is through this sentence that we unfold our text.

Language as a source of misunderstandings

In fact, we need to establish some concepts before discussing this statement, especially living in the world we live in today. Each of us grew up in a similar and, at the same time, completely different world. Confused? Not so much. We all see the events of life through the perspective in which we were – and are – molded, that is, each one sees what they were conditioned to look at.

Therefore, it’s important to understand that when establishing visions and affirmations of a world, those concepts are yours: seen, lived, and taught to you. Other people may not have that same perception, and to change that, there is communication. To bridge differences and improve relationships as a whole. And for communication to be effective, some points must be thought and talked about, and also clarified. And to help you with that, we brought some tips to assist you so you don’t reproduce violent communication, but a clear one instead. Shall we?

Better together 

We will probably never have the feeling of our first time falling in love again, it’s a fact. We can have the feeling of being in love again, of course, but the first time, it was unique. That happened because it was a new moment, a new phase. And that new phase happened another time in our lives: poor grades in school, disappointments in friendships, fighting with parents, heartbreak…

So, if you have all these feelings, all people will go through this too, but not in the exact same way as you, so, respect that. We have the bad tendency to minimize pain when it doesn’t grow inside of us, and the universal truth is that we never know how much damage a situation can cause in someone (actually, neither in ourselves), so this tip is about listening

Sometimes, we are so desperate to be heard that we forget to give this chance to the other person too. Effective communication needs hearing, because, once you understand their point of view, you have space to see the situation in a different way and express yourself in a more assertive one. So, write this down: communication is not about only talking, but also hearing. It’s important to know that if someone is talking about their feelings, you must be someone that person trusts – that’s the beautiful thing about communication, once you understand, you realize all the sensibility besides it.

Talking about trust, we have to talk of honesty, being sincere – with yourself and with the person you’re chatting with – is indispensable. We have this idea that if we speak to someone about all the things we think and feel, it’s gonna be rude and will hurt other people. So, this tip it’s about ways of communication.

Different roads 

Most of the places we know have some paths that allow us to get to them. They can be long, short, a bit bumpy, or even go through the park… The point is, there’s always a way. In communication, we have all types of paths you can talk about the problem, the perception of the other, options for a solution, options for change and, for the last one, we talk soon (better for the ending).

Sometimes – for the most part actually -, we think that talking to someone about how we are feeling and what we feel will hurt. But the truth is, it’s not what you are saying, it’s how, the way you are following. Anyway, if all of the ways lead us to the same place, why not make the trajectory prettier? You can talk to someone that you don’t like their attitude and still say I love you in the end. You can tell someone that you cried all night because the words he said cut you like a knife and still think that you are lucky to have that person in your life. 

Fights are part of every communication, a big part, actually. By faith, we have the opportunity to understand our actions, recognize the parts that hurt, and improve ourselves. And by that, I just wanna say that communication requires this kind of understanding and humility to recognize and to improve. 

And, in this way, it’s important to add a tip to the one about talking and listening. By listening to someone, you can change your attitude and improve yourself. Don’t blame yourself forever, we are not machines. We are not programmed to get it right all the time, but communication is the most assertive way to use our vulnerability to our advantage and move towards the best path, and this is something we can control. We are not machines, but all of us know how to love (and if you are reading an article about improving communication, you already learned that tip). As Harry Styles would say: should we just keep driving?

So far, we learned about how to express ourselves, to be heard, and to speak. But one of the hardest things is: how can I name this feeling inside my chest? I know, the million-dollar question, but we can try. This tip is about taking yourself seriously and identifying emotions. 

Here in Brazil, there is a famous expression that says: “Let’s separate the wheat from the chaff”, which is basically selecting and identifying what is a problem and what isn’t. And we will see why this expression fits perfectly for this.

Separate the wheat from the chaff

Before saying what we think, it is important to know what we really feel in certain situations, so that there is no noise in communication and there is clarity in words and feelings. After all, sometimes we want to say what we think and feel and end up causing a lot of damage.

A good option is to write about your emotions. Write about what you are feeling, the intensity, the reasons, everything. This will help you understand what kind of approach you must take in the conversation, and it will help you see points that are sometimes hidden.

We have the terrible tendency to always put the blame on others, as if making mistakes wasn’t completely human – but that’s a topic for another article. Once we identify emotions, we can also understand who they belong to: us, or the others.

We are responsible for understanding and caring for what we feel and every time we understand each other more, we create safety limits that do not allow unpleasant situations to happen again. This is self and shared love, helping all your relations. 

Knowing more about yourself means loving yourself. As Rita Lee once said, “the more I know myself, the better I get”.

The article above was edited by Camila Lutfi.

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Nathalia Zanatta

Casper Libero '25

kindness and wraiting :) doing jornalism, searching for a better world with opportuninites for all, to be a communication agent and make an equal world possible for all the amazing womans that exist and will came.