There are four components to the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) model, as developed by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. This guide can help you to express how you are, or they can be used to empathically receive how another is.
If my partner wants more affection than I’m giving her, she is “needy and dependent”. But if I want more affection than she is giving me, then she is “aloof and insensitive”. If my colleague is more concerned about details than I am, he is “picky and compulsive”. On the other hand if I am more concerned about details than he is, he is “sloppy and disorganised”.
It is my belief that all such analyses of other human beings are tragic expressions of our own values and needs. They are tragic because, when we express our values and needs in this form, we increase defensiveness and resistance to them among the very people whose behaviours are of concern to us. Or, if they do agree to act in harmony with our values because they occur with out analysis of their wrongness, they will likely do so out of fear guilt, or shame.
We all pay dearly when people respond to our values and needs, not out of a desire to give from the heart, but out of fear, guilt, or shame. Sooner or later, we will experience the consequences of diminished goodwill on the part of those who comply with our values out of a sense of either external or internal coercion. They too, pay emotionally, for they are likely to feel resentment and decreased self-esteem when they respond to us out of fear, guilt, or shame. Furthermore, each time others associate us in their minds with any of those feelings, we decrease the likelihood of their responding compassionately to our needs and values in the future.
From ‘Non-Violent Communication’ by Marshall Rosenberg [P16]