• to choose one’s dreams, goals values
• to choose one’s plan for fulfilling one’s dreams, goals, values


• acceptance
• appreciation
• closeness
• community
• consideration
• contribution to the enrichment of life (to exercise one’s power by giving that which contributes to life)
• emotional safety
• empathy
• honesty (the empowering honesty that enables us to learn from our limitations
• love
• reassurance
• respect
• support
• trust
• understanding
• warmth

Spiritual Communion

• beauty
• harmony
• inspiration
• order
• peace

Physical Nurturance

• air
• food
• movement, exercise
• protection from life threatening forms of life: viruses, bacteria, insects, predatory animals
• rest
• sexual expression
• shelter
• touch
• water


• to celebrate the creation of life and dreams fulfilled
• to celebrate losses: loved ones, dreams (mourning)


• authenticity
• creativity
• meaning
• self-worth


• fun
• laughter

Views: 100

Replies to This Discussion

I found this list really useful.  It is by no means all encompassing, but it does provide a great start to identifying our human needs and therefore gives us words to express them to others clearly and without having to make value judgements on them to find other ways to get those needs met.  We can simply – have a think about this list and go directly to the source, meaning that we avoid insulting or hurting others and well as being more effective in being clear and direction with our requests for others to help us to meet our needs.


Reading the NVC book was quite a revelation for me.  I think I’d always just come back to name calling or value judgements when my needs weren’t being met before, and this isn’t and wasn’t very effective at getting me closer to my goal of meeting my own need in the moment.  Even knowing I had such needs, or that those needs were valid and having them listed was a revelation in itself.


Can anyone else comment of these ideas and give some thoughts of their own?


Alice : )

It may not be an all encompassing list, but then the only list that could be all encompassing would be a list that listed pretty much every possible emotion and bias and thought and action.


While I agree entirely with the list, there are others who don't need some of them. Asexual people, people who thrive on chaos and not peace (I don't mean that in any violent sense, but rather just hectic/frantic lifestyles), people who don't need companionship or community, and so on. These people are all equally fulfilled and content lacking these things as others who need them.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying these people invalidate the list by any means, rather that because of the radically different nature that individuality brings to humanity I can't imagine there being a truly exhaustive, all encompassing list being made.


It is a great list, though.

Hi Kale,
Thanks for the post.
I agree with your sentiment.  I kind if see it that we all having different needs at different times and to varying degrees.
This list was come up with over a long period of years by a researched psychologist when he was in his 50's or so.  Meaning that I have much respect for his work.
The reason to have such a list - isn't because we don't know our own preferences in any one moment - but it is to guide us away from violence in our communication.
We may feel the need to shout abuse at someone or feel the need to express hurt and pain via anger and redemption - but this whole nonviolent communication is geared towards changing our expressions by way of self awareness and following a constructed pattern of expression, until it is more second nature to our brain patterning and therefore enabling us to express our selves in a way that elicits self and other compassion rather than exciting violence in our lives. 
This makes sense to me on a number of levels.  Why would I wish to promote violence in my life - it does create stress, which does affect our ability to repair and regenerate our cells, meaning that we age more quickly and are more prone to infection and disease.
The needs list is part of a 4 step process of communication that channels our expression into a constructed pattern that gives us more of what we want on a deeper level, based in values of calm and compassion - mainly because calm and compassion leads to better immune function, less stress, more potential life and a better quality of life for all concerned - in my experience it leads to way more natural feelings of inner contentment, as opposed to previously increased feelings of stress, anger and uncomfortability in my own skin.
The needs list reflects the researched needs that will lead to compassion - and not all needs at whim that may or may not lead to eliciting more compassion in our lives.  Thus it is a constructed needs sheet based on research favouring compassion, rather than an all encompassing needs list that expresses the variety of needs that are expressed by us all.
I'm very keen and curious to discuss these concepts more and explore the working of NVC with others of a naturalist mind.
Please give me more of your thoughts on this matter.

As far as NVC goes, I haven't read the book, but based on the name alone and the implications of it, I can get behind it. If I may use a cliche, "You get more flies with honey..." And it is true.


Empathy and compassion, non-violence reactions, and so on can turn the tide in a someones train of thought, their interactions with you (general, not you specifically) soften, and generally they are more civil and humane. This doesn't always work, of course, but going in guns blazing just instantly escalates things. I believe that, for the most part, I've subconsciously used NVC (again, as far as the term implies and not based on any books or research) typically when debating or discussing anything with anyone.


An exception to this seems to be online. I find that the majority of people who post online love to use the relative anonymity of the internet to be on their worst behavior and aren't their to actually act human. It also quickly becomes apparent that many, no matter how kind, compassionate, non-violent, intelligent, civil, and so on that some people are behaving towards them, are only there to either proselytize or troll. I do find I struggle to keep myself from just going in, to use an earlier statement, guns blazing in these situations.


To be honest, while I do agree with this list, it's not something that I'd keep in mind in the heat of the moment. Then again, as far as I'm aware, no one ever said it'd be easy to cultivate a even-headed, eternal calm while dealing with others. It's definitely a task worth striving for, though.


I think the world would vastly improve if many more people were to strive for self-awareness, authenticity, empathy, peace, honesty, love, and all the rest of the wonderful things listed above in an effort to communicate with ourselves and others in calm, collected, non-violent manner.


Interesting - I read somewhere the other day that a study showed that when comparing punishment with rewards, as extrinsic motivational factors - rewards won hands downs down. Rewards are way more effective as an extrinsic motivator. (How to win friends and influence people)

Another interesting book takes a whole book to talk about how rewards and punishment both being extrinsic motivators are both 'punishing' in the long run - and that intrinsic motivation is way more effective in the longer term for quality of life and quality of relationships. (Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn).

NVC (nonviolent communication) is all about learning how to be more intrinsically motivated. So that we 'feel' that we are more in control of our lives.

I am interested to discuss these ideas in terms of determinism, our lack of contra causal free will, and the causal web of all things.

It's a true saying - we do catch flies with honey.

I'll post some more information about NVC so you can see how he forms it as a language. You are correct in thinking that you have used in naturally - we all use it naturally - he just puts it into a formula so it's more easy to be mindful of and remember the process when you need it most - like when you feel like braking out in a rage about something. Which is very useful.

You have an interesting experience of online interactions. I haven't found this to be true for me. I have really enjoyed the discussion on nexus and find it liberating in that people are more expressive of their views and I really enjoy that. I find that I hold back my views in real life for fear of offending, but online I've found that I am more free to express my views. I haven't yet taken offence at anything that was said and have generally found people very compassionate and courteous. So I'm not sure why such a different experience. Much of it can be perspective - but it may also be that I have been spending time talking with totally different types of people for some reason... : )

The NVC book has lots of techniques for keeping a cool head in a hot climate. Changing the way we view the situation for a start, which is really useful. Eg, we can change the way we view anger. We can for a start say that anger is quite damaging to our own stress levels and therefore retards our bodies ability to repair itself and remain young - in other words more anger ages us, less anger keeps us younger. Then on top of this NVC shows us how to express anger fully:

“Nonviolent Communication” Excerpts and Notes:

Author: Marshall B Rosenberg

Anger is a wake up call to my needs:

What am I needing and not getting?

Hearing a Difficult Message:

Unproductive to getting our needs met:

1. blame ourselves

2. blame others

More likely to get our needs met:

3. sense our own feelings and needs

4. sense others’ feelings and needs

Expressing Anger:

1. Stop. Breathe.

2. Identify my judgmental thoughts.

… distinguish stimulus from cause…

3. Connect with my needs.

4. Express my feelings and unmet needs.

… “I feel angry because I need …”

Reflect Empathically:

1. observing

2. feeling

3. needing

4. requesting

Listen to what people are needing rather than what they are thinking

Anger emerges from:

• judgments

• labels

• thoughts of blame

• should / have to

• believing that someone deserves something

Practice translating each judgment into an unmet need

"Our objective is to establish relationships based on Honesty and Empathy"

I'll add some more discussion posts to the group with more about NVC.

This guy is quite tuned into human nature and what we need in order to effect change in our responces. I'm not sure why scientifically, but it would make another interesting discusion.

Please tell me your thoughts about expressing anger fully and also any other thoughts you might have had whilst reading this post.

Alice :)



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