It’s disheartening to talk to someone and while they clearly heard the words, they just didn’t seem to understand what was meant, or if they did, they were not really paying attention and were noticeably disconnected. On the other hand, it feels good when we connect with someone who truly seems to get what we’re saying, which helps us to feel valued and respected.
When we interact with others and engage in conversation with them, it is important to not only hear them, but to listen to what they are saying rather than just plan what we are going to say next. When someone is telling us about a personal situation, whether pleasant or unpleasant, they are looking for a connection as well as validation.
Some of us have the tendency to try to ‘fix’ the problem or offer advice, which may be well-meaning, but is likely not what they are looking for unless they specifically ask for it. If they just need to vent, the best thing to do is listen and then acknowledge how they feel about the situation and let them know it is okay to feel whatever it is they are feeling, instead of just telling them that everything will be okay.
Let’s practice being active listeners this week.
So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.Jiddu Krishnamurti