I’ve always been told that I am a great listener. I accepted the compliment, but never thought I was doing much. As I became older, I began to understand the impact. I began to realize how many people feel unheard, and therefore unseen. And then I realized. I realized that when we truly listen to someone, we allow them to be heard. To be seen. And that is a beautiful gift for both the speaker and the listener.
I have learned that listening- real, active listening- is a skill. It’s tricky. Have you ever been in a conversation with another person who is just waiting to talk or comment back, without really listening to what you are saying? Or when someone misunderstands you so completely that you wonder if you were in the same conversation? Have you ever told someone in exasperation, “You’re not listening?”
I’ve always enjoyed listening to people. I find the human connection to be fascinating. Feeling safe enough to share our thoughts, our feelings, our desires is a gift. In order to feel safe, you need to feel heard, in order to feel heard, the person on the other end needs to be listening. Actively. Asking questions. Empathically responding. This. This is everything. This is what makes people feel important, makes people feel alive.
I think it’s my own interest in other people that makes me such a good listener. I want to listen. I ask thought provoking questions. I intentionally listen and respond without judgement. I want whomever is speaking, whether it be family, friends, or a client, to feel comfortable, to feel heard, to feel important when they talk to me. It’s a form of love that is easy to give to anyone that crosses my path. So now when people say I am a great listener, I understand. And I am thankful.
Lots of love,