You speak to me. But those words you say, are they meant for my good or are they spoken out of your fear, some baggage from your past?
Do you really think that because something happened to you, it will also happen to me?
Why don’t you let me be me, and I’ll let you be you?
If I want your advice, I’ll ask for it.
It’s amazing how little we listen when we are in communication with people. Did you ever stop and evaluate yourself as to whether you are really listening to what someone is saying and why they are saying it? Or, are you thinking about what you are going to say next?
What happens when we truly listen to people? Listen to the heart of them, ask good questions and don’t jump in with our opinions? Don’t interrupt, don’t interject, don’t ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ them, don’t relay a story from our experience, or put words in their mouth… just listen.
Think of your own experiences in this area. Who do you love to talk to? Who do you feel the most heard by? I bet it is a person who encourages, asks questions, supports you, doesn’t judge you and TRULY listens.
So, how do we truly listen? And of equal importance, how can we feel heard? Because when push comes to shove we really all just want to be heard right? WE JUST WANT TO BE HEARD!
So, if we want to feel heard and the person we are talking to wants to feel heard… how do we go about accomplishing this? I have found the trick is to LISTEN, and then you in turn will be heard. By giving someone else what they want, I get what I want. And actually, aren’t we all out to please ourselves? It sounds trite but hear me out.
We love someone because they make US feel good. We talk to someone because WE want to feel supported, told we are doing a good job, or need help in working through a crisis. We help people because WE enjoy how we feel when we help them, right? It makes us feel good. We all seek our own happiness, even when we think we aren’t. Oddly enough we were created this way. C.S Lewis talks about it, Song of Solomon talks about it.
So how does this relate to listening?
Well, do you want someone to listen to you? Try listening for a while. Try not injecting your opinion, try asking helpful questions like, How did that make you feel,” or “What do you think you are going to do now?” Try making them feel loved and safe instead of scolding or saying things like, “I told you so!” It’s actually harder than you might think, but truly rewarding!
Amazingly, when we do this we feel heard too! Because when they feel heard, they are also ready to hear. They are heard, we feel loved and appreciated. We all benefit in the end.
I’m working on being a better listener…will you join me?
Written by: Claudia Good