Everyone wants to be heard. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is to listen to them. Listening to someone is an act of love. And practicing that gift is also a gift to yourself.
It was a gift I had to learn. Before this journey I, many times, wouldn’t listen, not truly, I had already made up my mind, or thought I was smarter than you, or, just didn’t care because you weren’t useful to me, as ugly as sounds, that was the truth. I wasn’t going to sit and listen to someone and not get something in return. With that mindset, I’m sure I missed many opportunities to learn something or to form a closer bond with someone already in my life. It’s giving someone the utmost respect, to listen, you’re saying that their opinion, or feelings, or situation, matters, and sometimes all someone wants to hear is that you’re willing to listen.
The act of listening takes patience, probably one of the main reasons I was so horrible at listening years ago, I was as impatient as they get, listening allows the other person to step into the spotlight, to have their moment to share, without interruptions, see, that’s the key component to listening, you don’t interrupt, or bud in while the other person is still speaking, so it trains us, to be patient, while we listen. It shows a great deal of humility to set aside our own wants and needs for a moment to let someone else express theirs. It allows the other person to step into the spotlight, to give them the moment to take center stage and talk about what is going on for them. And, hopefully they will return the gesture and give you the same gift. In fact, that is something I pay attention to, it’s great to be there for others and listen to them, but they should also ask what’s going on for you, and listen to you if you need to share. One-sided relationships, with only one person ever listening, is not a healthy relationship, I’ve talked about this in the past with the blog, Emotional Vampires: They’ve Come To Suck Your Life. Listening should always be a two-way street.
It also sets that standard for your relationships, it connects you to others, and if you let it, helps you learn from what is shared and possibly apply that new information to your own life. Yeah, there is always a reason why someone asks us to listen, or we’re drawn to ask someone to share with us, we may not know why at the time, but, the reason usually reveals itself.
So how is listening a loving act? It shows you care, that you’re interested, and that you are willing to set your own problems or issues aside for a moment to listen to theirs, because, you care. It costs nothing, but your time, and it could be priceless for someone else to have you as a sounding board and have your attention for a time. It’s also loving to yourself because you are honoring a friendship and the principles you stand for by giving your time to someone else while they share with you. It helps with your self-esteem, with your compassion for others, and with as I mentioned, building your patience.
Never under-estimate the power listening to someone, it is a gift that not only is given to the other person, but to you as well. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you have a difficult time sitting and listening to someone else? Why? Do you enjoy it when someone takes the time to listen to you? Why do you enjoy that? So, using the reasons that you enjoy being listened to, can you apply those to the other people in your life and understand why they would appreciate being listened to as well? When you have listened to people in the past, how did that make you feel? What new information did you learn? And, how, if any, many ways were you able to apply that to your own life? Do you see how listening to someone is a loving act? Why do you think you struggle with it? I challenge you SLAYER, to call someone this week and instead of talking about your life, ask them how they are and what’s going on, and as the they do, stay quiet, and listen, you may just learn something new.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you