A Mobile-Friendly NVC Needs List

The central insight of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is its focus on universal human needs. But what are basic needs? For those new to NVC, it’s often difficult to distinguish fundamental needs from emotions and judgments. As a result, a list of needs can be particularly helpful in understanding and practicing NVC. If there’s one core NVC tool, this is it.

You can find many different versions of needs list (also called inventories) on the Web. However, most of them aren’t mobile-friendly. So if you’re like me, when on your phone looking at such pages, you end up frustrated — squinting, scrolling awkwardly, and pinching in and out.

To address this, I’ve created a reasonably comprehensive list using responsive Web design techniques. The list scales from one column for small mobiles to six columns for large desktop monitors. Scrolling on small mobiles is easy.

NVC List of Needs

The list I’ve used the most is Bay NVC’s. Thus I began with their basic structure, adapting it to my Buddhist understanding of humanity.

Next I went through other major NVC lists, adding terms that seemed not to be included in Bay NVC’s. (I say “seemed” because semantics play a role in this.)

Finally, I added some terms I haven’t seen on other lists.

  • Blame-free
  • Boundaries
  • Determination/Grit
  • Equanimity
  • Focus/Traction
  • Gentleness
  • Healthy Ego
  • Letting go
  • Nature
  • Quiet
  • Refresh
  • Wonder

Most of my additions relate to practicing Buddhism. (I’ve also retained such Judeo-Christian terms as communion and transcendence.) However, “Quiet” and “Focus/Traction” I added because, in this age of the attention economy, we can be bedeviled by distractions.

For those who might not know how to save an icon of a Web page so it looks like an app on your mobile:

  • On an iPhone, open the page in Safari. Click the share icon in the center at the bottom of the screen. (It looks like a square with an up arrow.) Click on Add to Home Screen in the black-and-white list. Optional: on the next screen edit the title — e.g. to just “Needs List.” Click Add in the upper right.
  • On Android, click the three dots in the upper right. Then click “Add to home screen.” Optional: on the next screen you can edit the title — e.g. to just “Needs List.” Touch and hold to place manually.

For friends who are testing the list: first, thank you. Second, please let me know if you have feedback. I would appreciate it.

And to all, I hope you find this list helpful.

NVC List of Needs