Taking the time to truly listen to each other is a great gift.
Sometimes during the holiday season when communicating with loved ones we can tend speak right over them with our preconceived ideas of what they are saying or should be saying. This can cause major uneasiness or unnecessary upsets.
When we assume that we know what another is saying without truly listening to them and having them feel heard, we might be standing in the way of that person feeling heard.
But we don’t just do this with close loved ones but with our friends, customers, neighbours, etc year round. A huge part of effective communication is listening. If we continue to ‘bark’ at others or don’t take the time to truly listen we may stand in their way of healing. Feeling like you have been heard allows you to feel acknowledged as a person who has something of value to say… Which each of us have.
If we all are mirrors of one another; when we don’t truly listen or acknowledge someone…we in fact in turn are doing that to ourselves. Ask yourself if that is what you choose to experience or have those around you feel.
There are ways to learn how to become more conscious and aware to better your communication style, feel more in harmony with your environment and to effectively motivate others. Like anything else it just takes a conscious choice and effort.
To better your relationship with yourself and others, here are great tips that everyone can use to become more open-minded and to really be able to listen.
- Be silent. Spend three minutes a day in silence.
- Hear. Listen to the individual sounds that contribute to the mix of sounds in a noisy place.
- Savor. Find joy in mundane sounds; they can be really interesting.
- Adjust your behaviors.
Before you learn how to really listen, you need to know how good listeners typically act… And the truth is, what often makes a person appear like they’re listening well is simply their ability to ask good questions.
Find someone who has something you want or needs, and ask them how they got it, and specifically what actions they took; people love talking about themselves and their accomplishments.
Put this into practice with a loved one or a person you frequently communicate with.
Instead of thinking about what to say next when you’re in a conversation, really try to hear the other person when they speak. Don’t just pretend or pay attention long enough to respond… You have no idea how many times this has happened with me. When I tell people I’m not interested in hearing their side, they often try to argue the point – which I have to deal with – instead of just being respectful and taking their turn.
I’m talking about leaving people out, expecting people to behave a certain way, etc.
You’ve never been receptive to advise from others, even if they’re offering you something that would really help you. Have you ever tried to listen to anyone’s advice besides your own?
You don’t consider other people’s feelings, and you never even try to empathize with them. The vast majority of people go through life understanding how hard it can be at times to put themselves in another person’s shoes.
I’m talking about making plans without taking anyone else into consideration. You always assume you’ll get your way, no matter how selfish your choices are. And even when you’re confronted with things that you did wrong, you never apologize.
You’ve got an attitude problem that’s only getting worse. You don’t understand that what you do affects others in ways beyond just hurting their feelings.
Next time spend some time indulging in other’s thoughts and feelings by listening to them. It’ll open your eyes for sure!