Coming from quite a loud family we tended to make noise rather than listen and so much miscommunication got lost in the ether of our daily lives, often I felt if we only took a minute to focus on what was being said as opposed to your own interpretation, life in general would be easier.
As children were always tasked with listening only to adults, as they seemed to be the bearer of all knowledge, children were not listened to in the same way so in many ways you learn to suppress when in fact you should speak up.
How many times through childhood to adulthood, have you tried to communicate, when the listener is doing something else, so you only have half an ear and without eye contact you really have no idea if any attention is being paid at all.
I feel in today’s world, we run from here to there, without really taking in what’s going on around us, were not attuned to others feeling, or even to ourselves, loved ones,children, the man on the street, therefore we don’t even listen with our intuition, even when someone is silent,it doesn’t mean we can;t here or feel their pain, this is a great loss as our ability to show compassion in the needs of others evaporates in our need to be heard but not listened to.
To connect by not just hearing what they say but listening to their word, the context, we can look at their body language, tears that threaten to spill, a hand that shakes, these are indicators that you need to shut everything else out and listen.
You will feel the benefits quite quickly, when there are no distractions and that person is focused on you, and allows you in your own time to say what they need to say without interruption, but not just listen to feel the meaning and power of your words, to let it be known that you matter you have a voice and it will be heard.
I recently have had such an experience of being listened to, believed, taken seriously, it had a profound effect, that my own personal struggles have been shared, but understood, and it reply I was with intelligent questions as they probed deeper to get to the heart of the matter, thusly this encouraged me to open up even more as I felt that I had someone on my wave length, even more so they took from it further knowledge that they could perhaps use at a later date.
In the Caribbean there is a say that that’s used often “what you don’t hear you will feel” that is a very simple truth, you will feel the consequences of not taking the time to listen, also within that, I find that as human being we miss an opportunity to grow,therefore lose the need to reach out to others when you need to.
It’s a challenge to practice your listening skills, but we can start by just taking 10 minutes out of our day and giving it to someone who can benefit hugely by knowing that you care and further to that will listen with an open mind and heart which all equals compassion.