“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” Mark Twain
Life, love, and every corner of our world exist within communication. Much frustration, anxiety, and angst can be bundled up in listening and being heard. I have a two-year-old in my world, and she will get louder than anyone else in the room to be heard. Oh, from the mouths of babes!
Divorce happens every day; faulty communication oftentimes fuels being heard and understood, breeding disappointment and destruction.
It is expected that we all want to be heard, understood, and embraced for who we are.
It is simple; people don’t listen.
People are either not interested in what you’re saying or too focused on their agenda. The pounding thoughts in your head need a verbal escape route. I am as guilty as ever as my thoughts panic losing their place, as I neglect to stop and focus on what is being said. It’s ridiculous, and I have been a party to this, two people acting like they can’t hear each other for whatever reason.
How can we do better?
Listen beyond what the person is saying, take a pause. Set your agenda aside and try to acknowledge what has been said by the other person. Let them complete their thoughts, stories, joys, problems, or complaints. Doing that will put you at a new level of being an active communicator. Before your personal response, make sure they feel heard, and ask more about what they said.
If you can seek to understand before you feel understood, you are showing yourself and others value and affirmation.
What if you actively listen but others don’t? One person genuinely listening is generally better than none. One person listening generally leads to two people listening. Let’s be honest; if I honor you with my ears, you’ll be more likely to return my words with your ears. Be a better listener in life, love, work, and battles. Try to avoid the habit of a collective monologue by really listening — with the intent of understanding, appreciating, and acknowledging.
I am preaching what I need to practice. I find words essential and can put me in a positive mind. One of my favorite exes is implementing active listening, and I heard him!
The ability to work on active listening to hear others is a gift. The willingness to listen is a choice.
My Mantra: “Let us see what we can hear.”