Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just Listen to Me


This week something I observed is the value of a silent listener.

When someone tells you something do you listen to them? I mean really listen to them?

Sometimes we may jump in to agree with what they are saying and tell a story to relate to them.
Sometimes we may ask questions.
Sometimes we may listen to some of what they say and then jump in to tell them what we think they should do.

Sometimes people just want you to listen to them.

If you have ever had a family member or friend who has sat there and let you talk and get what you need to say off your chest, no interruptions and no stopping you to tell you what they think, then you probably know the value of a silent listener. Some people pay big money to have someone just sit and listen to them.

A lot of times when people are able to talk something out and have someone there to listen, they are able to figure things out on their own. Having someone there to give you advice on what you should do is also a wonderful thing. If you are able to hear the advice from others and can do what they say you should do then that can be very helpful. There are times though when YOU know what is best and YOU need to trust yourself. Learning on your own and through your own experiences is usually the most effective way because everyone is different and have different lessons to be learned. What did not work for others may work for you and may be a critical lesson you were meant to learn.

It can be hard to be a silent listener. We want to jump in and tell others what we think they should do because of what we have learned. There is something powerful in silence though. This is why I bring this up today. This past week I had a moment where the silence spoke more to me than anything that person could say.

After I finished updating someone on how things have been going in my life and venting some about things that I was frustrated about, she simply stared at me and didn't say a word. I was finished. Why was she just staring at me? Then after a kind of awkward silence I started talking again. Unsure if she was listening I started trying to wrap up the conversation and see the bright side of what I had been venting about. It was in that moment, where I was trying to figure out something on my own and talk it out that I had an "A-HA" moment. It was suddenly so clear!

I don't even know if she knew what she did. It felt good though to figure it out on my own and realize the answer that was right in front of me.

I then tried to apply this type of listening the rest of the day and see if I could be a silent listener for others. :) If you really think about it, a lot of the social networking sites are exactly this. Many people use these as opportunities to say what they want to say and have others listen to them. No interruptions.

Silent listening was actually kind of hard to do. So instead I would do some repeating of what they said and then be silent and they would pick up from there. It actually went well. I think they liked having someone to just listen also. That or they thought I was a little nuts...

Either way it may be a reminder of how important it is to have reflection time for yourself. Some quiet time for you to reflect and get out a pen and paper to journal. Don't worry about spelling, hand writing or what anyone would think. Just write.

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