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Listening is an art and a virtue that is taken for granted nowadays. Whether it’s listening to yourself and your intuition to answer a question you know deep down you have the solution to, or taking the time to really listen and engage with friends and family.

Listening, and hearing what is being said so you can really understand the message within is sure to grant you happiness, beautiful relationships and the ability to connect to the moments you’re experiencing, as well as with the people who think you’re special enough to be included in their journey.

The ability to listen, and more importantly to really hear and digest what is being said as you engage with the storyteller is an art, and a quality that should always be embraced and practiced when connecting with others. It helps you grow as an individual, as you develop a deeper understanding into other peoples perspectives, so you are able to reflect on that knowledge gained, and choose your opinions wisely.

Not always is what we hear and listen to what we would like to be spending our time on, however if you look at it from the point of the story teller and realise that they feel comfortable enough to talk about their problems to you, then you should repay them that honour by respecting their need to vent (whether happy or sad news) and listen, keep eye contact and engage with them.

Nothing is worse than feeling safe in someone’s company, to start telling them your news and then to have them make the ‘uh-huh’, ‘yeah’ and ‘oh’s’ for your benefit all the while looking on their phone. The same goes for talking over someone to one-up his or her experiences. Give them the stage. Let them express them selves, and add your perspectives on things once they have had a chance to get their message across.

On the flip side, if you find that your ‘safe’ companion is always the one doing the ‘yeah’s’, ‘okay’s’ and ‘uh-huh’s’ perhaps it’s time that you switch your perspective on the relationship and give them a chance to talk to you about things, rather than always being the one talking at them. There will always be a dominant topic, or character within each relationship. Take the time to quietly reflect on your relationships and see where and whom you need to swap your listening vs. talking habits around from. You’ll be amazed at the direction some conversations can go, and what you can learn from them as well as the storyteller when you start hearing what you are listening too.

We have two ears, and one mouth; listen twice as much as you speak and see the change it can make to your world, relationships and happiness.

Who has the gift for listening in your life?

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