Listening . It means SO much MORE then “repeating back” the words the other person has verbalized . It is an act of getting outside yourself, putting your feelings aside, your erroneous thoughts aside, like the grocery list, a call you need to make, your sweater is itchy, etc. we all know when someone isn’t “really” listening don’t we?
Be present emotionally, be honest, about it. And please have good eye contact, & body language, share your support by asking what the person needs to feel supported and what they need what can you do? ASK.
What you and I need may be very different from what Mr A needs or Mrs X needs. One person might want a hug. Someone else might simply appreciate you asking and that’s enough. Another may need you to demonstrate verbal support by telling them something hopeful.
If you don’t know what to say try, fake it. The words are not as important as the energy behind the intent and your sincerity. And most people? They can tell if you give a damn. I hear it everyday. Doesn’t matter what you say or do. If you really aren’t emotionally present, they feel it. And if you grew up in a home where there was alcoholism, emotional abuse, or mental illness, you can bet you have what I call A
“Super Power”. A keen instinctual ability to lock on to bullshit. And 99% of the time be right about your gut.
More on that later…
Relationships, friendships, marriages, sibling relationships, co workers and even potential employers are all impacted by your presence, or lack of.
Listening isn’t just being able to repeat the words. It’s making a connection to someone who has reached for you. It’s real, its about THEM. NOT you. Be a good listener. Don’t give advice, or judge, or make a new campaign to “help them” fix unless they ask.
Just listen. Control your need to fix. Just listen. Let a little silence occur in the conversation it’s ok, that’s a moment, your there with them. Your present. And when your present you have given them the best gift ever. You. It doesn’t get any better then that.