Rebranding and teaching NVC as “Empathy In Action”

Bruce Dickson
5 min readJan 1, 2020

Written from the year 2120, part of remaking college psychology 2035–2045

Article from a work in progress, Stories of Restoration for SpaceShip Earth; or, Thank God We Got Rid of the Men

If you want to build a community, NVC is the greatest hammer ever invented ~ Kelly Bryson

If you feel vaguely disorientated, you are getting NVC


Needs are not words; words are not needs ~ Unknown (a correct use of “the map is not the territory” idea)

Empathy is the great connector; honesty is the great teacher ~ Rita Marie, BePeace

When I express my truth authentically, I hold equally meaningful your need for safety and our mutual desire for connection ~ Rita Marie from BePeace pg 11

To us, the superficial level of conflict always seems to be between my right and your wrong. Under this are more meaningful unmet needs ~ Sandra Boston paraphrase


NVC = Compassionate (nonviolent) Communication

In my near-future sci-fi novel, before women took over, every new idea had to base itself, justify itself, connect itself, to past male-approved ideas. In this way males hoped to build a stable pyramid-shaped foundation for current and future intellectual growth, controllable by male thinkers.

In 2035–2045 when Women remade failing colleges, “Psychology” was made into “Communications.” They used more NVC in this process than any other single rhetoric. However they also had to throw out much of the history of how NVC had been taught. Rhetoric NVCers had been using to justify NVC Best Practices was too weak.

A word or two about the founder of NVC, Marshall Rosenberg, and his upbringing will always be useful to those with a serious interest in Best Practice in Interpersonal Competency. However defining NVC by Marshall’s bio is intellectually juvenile.

From the year 2120, where I am now, NVC came into its own starting in the 2030s. In the 2030s NVC, still the heart of Best Practices in interpersonal competency, is re-branded.

NVC as “Empathy In Action”