“Sometimes being listened to is so much like being loved, it is impossible to tell the difference.” – Barbara Pine
I have been taking some food to a sick friend lately. She is on a soft food diet, so I researched and made a list of foods that are allowed. Once a week, I pack up some soup or homemade applesauce or muffins with no berries (seeds are a no-no) and make a delivery.
Last week when I brought the food to her house, her husband met me in the driveway and we chatted. In a rare moment of candor, he admitted to me how much he was struggling to keep up with everything – the housework, yard work, providing meals, and taking care of my sick friend.
I immediately went home and told the story to my hubby. “Maybe we could volunteer to do some of his yard work,” I said. “Please text him and make the offer.”
Our offer to do yardwork was declined by our friend. “Thanks,” he said, “I just needed to vent.”
How many times have I felt the need to fix something for a loved one when really, they just need to be listened to? I must learn to listen.
I am ashamed to admit there have been times when someone is talking to me and I pretend to listen. I appear to be engaged but I am actually making a shopping list in my head, or trying to remember the lyrics to “Black Dog” by Led Zepplin, rather than paying attention to their words.
I want to learn to get out of my own frame of reference more often, to be empathetic when someone is speaking to me, to hear with my heart.
First, I need to tamp down my own ego long enough so I can ignore it when it whispers “But, me! What about me? Pay attention to me!”
I should stop formulating a response while my conversation partner is still talking, to sometimes accept the pauses and the stillness of silence.
To truly listen is to stop narrating my own life and see things from someone else’s perspective. I must learn to put my own agenda aside long enough to focus on another’s point of view.
Being heard boosts our mood and improves our self-confidence. It makes us feel supported and loved. Our comfort level increases when we are listened to.
Being a good listener is a skill I must practice, As my mother used to say “There’s a reason you have two ears and only one mouth.”
I am linking with Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, Reflections From Me for A Blogging Good Time, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love, Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends, and Worth Beyond Rubies.
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