You are very excited about something that happened with you at work. You want to share it with your best friend, but she is going on and on about her upcoming wedding plans. You do let her finish, because you were taught to do so (let the other person speak and not interrupt him/her). You hear everything she says. You hear, not listen. You don’t pay attention to her talk. You are more interested in telling her about what happened with you. You are concerned about yourself. You are impatient.
We all are. We are impatient and intolerant. We want to talk and not listen. We want everyone to hear us, listen to us, understand us, but we ourselves are too restless to recognize and realize other’s concerns. In this fast paced world, while we are busy concentrating on our speaking skills, our listening abilities are declining.
Why is it important to be a good listener?
As much as you like to talk, it is important for each on to have an ear to hear. Listening helps you to connect with the other person personally. When someone turns to you to speak their mind, that person is asking for attention, praise, appreciation, admiration and love. Talking too much and listening too less is comfortable, but not healthy. We always feel that the person who talks is the stronger person and has full control over the conversation. But in reality, it is not always important to march forward by storming your thoughts and feelings to the other person. Sometimes, it takes some listening to make us realize that every life has cracks, every person has unsorted issues and everyone has a back story justifying their current personality. Talking about your deepest desires, failures, achievements, opinions, conclusions, and lessons learned is always fun and satisfying. But listening to someone talk passionately about something that they truly care about is beautiful, because their eyes shine the brightest with a different glow on their faces. Sometimes all the other person needs is your attention, really connecting, fully being there, and watching the other person relax, and unfold their tangled souls.
So the next time someone is sad or too excited about something, try to make the person feel comfortable and relaxed. Proper eye contact and expressions. Ask questions- what, why? Keep your phone or laptop aside. Engage yourself in the conversation. Show them you care or at least that you are actually listening.
Because sometimes all the other person needs is someone who can listen to them, tell them it’s great or it will be soon. Someone who may not completely understand their situation. Someone who does not give suggestions and advices. Someone who just listens.
While we all expect to have that ‘someone’ in our lives we forget to be that way. Be that ‘someone’. Start listening. Start connecting.