Toxic Language & Violent Communication

Categories English By JadePosted on Format Film
Toxic Language & Violent Communication

Toxic language is a way of communicating that harms other people. The lesson is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg, who educated people to express their needs in a compassionate way in order to avoid ‘violent communication’. I will teach you common examples of violent communication, such as threatening, blaming, labelling, diagnosing, and guilt tripping. Many of us often do some or all of these to others without realising. By learning to avoid violent communication, we are able to express our personal needs more effectively and our relationships with others can improve.

Next, watch my video about passive aggressive language — it’s also important:

You can take a quiz on this lesson here:


Hi, everyone. In today’s lesson we’re going to look at the language of toxic people and the things that they say. This is the kind of language we use when… Perhaps we don’t realize it, but by saying these things we can start arguments, and we can say these things and people will become angry with us. Another way of explaining toxic language is to say: „Violent communication”. I’ve shortened the word „communication”, there. This was an area of study, you could say, by a man called Marshall Rosenberg. So if you’re interested in the things I’m talking about in this lesson, you can go search for the area of violent communication, and you can learn more about it, because the whole philosophy, I suppose, is how we can change the language that we use so that we can have more healthy communication with other people, and that way we don’t have so many arguments and we have a more peaceful life at home.

So I’ve got different kinds of violent communication, and I’m going to go through them one by one, explaining as I go. First I’ll just read you the list of the different kinds of violent communication. Blaming others, threats, shoulds, labelling, black-and-white thinking, guilt-tripping, diagnosing, emasculation, and uncalled-for advice.

I’ll start with blaming. „Blaming” is when in your life you do not take any responsibility for your problems. Everything that happens to you is always somebody else’s fault. So, a person who blames other people would say something like: „You make me so angry.” To use the verb „make”, and to say: „You make me” is not taking responsibility for ourselves being angry. Another way we could say the… Say a similar thing is to say: „I am angry.” But instead, we blame it all on that person. It’s not the thing that happened, it’s because of you. Next we’ve got: „It’s all your fault.” Imagine something goes wrong, there’s been a personal crisis going on in your family or something, and your dad says to you: „It’s all your fault. Absolutely everything that went wrong here is because of you.” All the blame goes on to you.” Obviously it’s not a very nice thing to experience. We know that in life things are rarely all just caused by one person, especially in a family, there’s… The way a family operates is: „You did this and I did this”, so we can see it’s more complicated in most situations than all being one person’s fault. So this expression, saying that to someone is usually an exaggeration as well, because if somebody says that, in most cases, it’s not true. It’s not all their fault, maybe some of it was. Next we’ve got: „You’re driving me crazy.” This is something that perhaps a mother would say if she has some young children, maybe she has a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 5-year-old and they’re all making lots of noise when they’re playing, she can say: „Shut up! You’re driving me crazy!” And, again, she’s not taking responsibility for her own stress and her own feelings of craziness; she’s blaming it on them. They are doing the action to her. They are driving her crazy.

Let’s look at threats now. A „threat” is when you let someone know if they do that something bad will happen, or you will make something bad happen, or there will be a bad consequence if they do that thing. And the reason you give a threat is you want to stop that person doing it. So here’s an example: „If you don’t get out of bed now, we’re going without you.” I imagine this situation, a teenage boy who doesn’t want to wake up. It’s Saturday morning, 11 o’clock, he’s happy to sleep in til 1pm, maybe 2pm, and his parents want him to get up so he can go and see the grandparents with them. They might try and threaten him by saying: „If you don’t get out of bed now, we’re going without you.” In the situation I described, maybe he wouldn’t care… Maybe the teenage boy wouldn’t care that much about that particular threat, it depends. Next example: „If you don’t eat your vegetables, you can’t have dessert.” […]