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Book Review: The Joy of Compassionate Connecting by James Prieto

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James Prieto’s The Joy of Compassionate Connecting is a motivating and inspiring book that is written tenderly but seriously. Prieto offers an innovative and completely fresh look at some of the most important teachings of Christ that are life-serving and nonjudgmental. One of the ways that Prieto brings his view of compassionate connecting is by offering the reader some key steps to improve interpersonal communication in some of the significant relationships in his life.

The concept of compassionate communication originated and was created by a famous American Psychologist, Marshall Rosenberg. Rosenberg first developed his theory by inviting his participants to listen from the heart, letting go of  outcomes and judgments in order to make an empathic connection with the individuals that they communicated with. This framework can help people to understand each other in a peaceful and loving way.

The purpose of Prieto’s concept of nonviolent communication is to improve an individual’s ability to inspire compassion in others and to respond  compassionately in real situations, especially when difficulties and misunderstandings arise. This encourages us to reframe how we speak to each other. Prieto encourages us to communicate with each other in loving and compassionate ways. We should listen to people with love and compassion by focussing on what we are feeling and needing.

Prieto tries to appeal to Christians who want to improve their interpersonal relationships by learning how to communicate more compassionately. Prieto demonstrates the teachings of Jesus which exemplify love, mutual respect, responsibility, and compassion. Nonviolent communication, once mastered and practised, will help the reader to live with integrity with Jesus’ values of love and compassion. This is something that we could all benefit from in order to improve our interpersonal relationships. Part III of the book is devoted to this kind of practical advice.

This book will be especially relevant to individuals who struggle to communicate in a compassionate manner in their interpersonal relationships. With practise and by relying on Prieto’s suggestions, we could also turn our troubled relationships into joy-filled connections. It is never too late to try Prieto’s method of compassionate connecting. I believe that Prieto’s book may even save a few marriages, and given the high incidence of divorce, this book is a great contribution.

The Joy of Compassionate Connecting is a wonderfully hopeful and inspiring book which will be enjoyed by all readers. It doesn’t presuppose the mastery of any difficult or esoteric psychological language or theories and is written with the layperson in mind.

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