Nicco Kunzmann


Anti Patterns of Communication

Anti Patterns of Communication

I spent time on thinking about Nonviolent Comunication. I watched videos of Marshal Rosenberg. They give the context for this essay.

I’d rather call it peaceful communication or “Giraffe”. I was raised with the other language which Marshal names “Jackal”.

In this blog post I want to present some patterns of Jackal language I use, analyse them and present responses to it, either by me, recognizing this language, or by others.

Note that these patterns apply to a communiaction style and thus apply to people, groups and states.

Jackal Pattern 1: Create Guilt and Offer Redemption

In one short sentence

I do not want to do X so I make you feel guilty and offer redemtion throught doing X for me.


You want an action X to be done in order to achieve goal Y. You do not want to do X, that is a given. You are willing to make other people suffer so they do it in your place.


The other person resists all your attempts of pressure. These attempts could be:


Talk to the other person.

  1. Begin with the goal Y that you would like to achieve.
  2. Say how this improves your life.
  3. Tell the strategy you would like to use. Oftentimes they know an other strategy that can help, too.
  4. Tell the person what hinders you to do the strategy.
  5. Ask for help and council.

These steps can help instead of the other person refusing to surrender.

Jackal Pattern 2: Divide and Conquer

In a short sentence

Resolve the connection between two people and focus on them separately.

Jackal Pattern 3: Generalize and Specialize

This is especially easy in Jackal language since it diffuses


Note that this works if (A) you and (B) the person have the same relation to (C) the group. In case you have a negative relationship to the person and the group, this can be used to trick the other person into this behavior to have a more understood attacking ground.

In a short sentence

We do it so you must do it or you are not one of us.


The other person tells you why they do it but does not change behavior.


When your motivation is for the wellbeing of the other person, tell them that first and then what you think. They can understand your concerns.

Jackal Pattern 4: Swallow and Burst out

In a short sentence

Swallow all about a person “B” and when it is too much, let it all burst out.


When you experience negative feelings towards a person, you do not address them. Instead, you hold a silent grudge against them. This can be if you like(d) the other person but you fear talking about this because it touches your emotions and this is shaky ground for you and the other person. You fear getting hurt in in uncontrollable way so you inflict hurt onto yourself in a controller way.


The other person thinks you dislike them.


When you feel the need to talk, tell the “B”, that you would like “B” to know that you some thoughts madden you and really make life misarable for you. Talk about every single instance separately and wait so you understand “B”’s view.

Jackal Pattern 5: Mean Allegation

In a short sentence:

Label the other person “B” openly as something negative so “B” is forced to react in a way that pleases us.

“You do that only to make my life miserable.”




You usually have a reason to say this mean thing. Tell the reason so that “B” can understand it and lend a hand. Because “B” actually likes you, “B” will help.

The pattern schema was borrowed from the book “Generative Beauty Patterns” by the Generative Beauty Project, Iba Laboratory, Keio University, Endo, Japan issued in 2012. This book can be found in an other pattern style here.