Communicate a difficult message without hurting feeling


We believe that most conflicts between individuals or groups arise from miscommunication about their human needs, due to coercive or manipulative language that aims to induce fear, guilt, shame, etc. These "violent" modes of communication, when used during a conflict, divert the attention of the participants away from clarifying their needs, their feelings, their perceptions, and their requests, thus perpetuating the conflict.


We designed a communication process to help you deal with this challenge. This practice is to be used face to face and alone with your interlocutor.

Careful here, this practice does not work if one of the two parties has "voluntarily" injured the other and the source of the problem is not an error, and if the other person is angry.



Describe the facts without judgment

Describe as factually as possible, and without judgment, the situation you reproach the person you are speaking to. Don't get away from the facts.

Example: "Last time you see, you have...[Insert factual fact]"


Share your feelings

Many emotions are at stake in this type of return. You must speak on the same level as your interlocutor: that of emotions. Expressing your emotions will create an emotional bridge and defuse tensions with the other person.

  • For example you can say:

  • .... It made me angry,
  • .... It scared me,
  • .... This surprised me,
  • .... It saddened me.

Center for Nonviolent Communication

Organisation internationale vouée à la promotion de la communication non-violente
See his method