Nonviolent Communication™ and Gratitude

“Saying thank you in NVC language:This is what you did; this is what I feel; this is the need of mine that was met.”

Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD.

More information on this topic coming soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this article from the New England Nonviolent Communication.


When we express gratitude we celebrate how our life has been enriched by other people’s specific actions.

When we express gratitude we reinforce our orientation to that which is life-giving.

One of our universal needs is to contribute to meeting other people’s needs. A universal need is intrinsic – it comes from inside us. To offer others an opportunity to contribute to meeting our needs is a precious gift we can give to others.

When we express gratitude we offer a gift to the giver – the knowledge that they have contributed to our needs being met.

The natural process of gratitude is often undermined by using praise and compliments as rewards intended to manipulate behavior: the child learns to sit quietly in class not because that behavior will contribute to their intrinsic need for learning, but because of the expectation of a gold star next to their name (read Alfie Kohn’s book Punished by Rewards). Our domination culture trains us to contribute for extrinsic reasons – reasons that are outside of us: rewards, approval from others, tax deductions, name recognition. The motivation behind praise is often pure appreciation, but the language undermines the intent by enabling a dependency on external approval. When we say “Good job!” we leave the other person dependent on our judgment of what a good job is. When we say to another person “This specific thing that you did helped me relax/play/focus, etc” then we contribute to their knowledge base and their capacity to contribute effectively.

The gratitude learning loop starts with the intention to enrich life, is realized with actions and is confirmed with feedback…

Please read the rest of this article here:

More information on Books about Empathy

NVC Gratitude Web Resources

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There is a wealth of information on Nonviolent Communication – in articles and videos. Of course we endorse all of Marshall’s sharing’s, however, there are many transcripts and videos created by others. Due to limited resources we do not verify the full accuracy of any particular video or articles created by others, even though there is plenty of wonderful and educational information on the web.