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Being a Good Listener: Why It's Both Important and Challenging

Being a Good Listener: Why It's Both Important and Challenging

Listening. It sounds so simple and yet is my hardest challenge in life. I interrupt myself, my thoughts, my actions, my progress and so yes, I interrupt others.

By doing so it says to them, I don’t care or value your way. I believe my way is superior and better suited to you and your situation. This most certainly is not my intention, quite the opposite in fact. My eagerness to speak, is a direct reflection on how much I want to help, humor, or praise them.

However, it redirects attention, from them to me. It steals their chance to process and evolve and be present with their feelings. Let people cry, don’t tell them it will be ok and try to change the moment. Be in the moment, the rawness of the emotion and let it run its path.

When people turn to another person, it is to be seen and heard, not necessarily to be given a solution or advice. By just being there and indulging them time to explore their emotions, you have given them the gift they want and initiated the path to healing.

Silence is golden. It holds space and heals. It speaks louder than any well-intentioned words and is received on a cellular level beyond that of the ears.

Perhaps the beginning step is to listen to ourselves first. To be with our thoughts, feelings, tears, and sorrows not with the intention to fix or “cheer up” but to be there until it is there no more.

Interrupting your own thoughts and constant chaotic mind chatter sends the same message that we are not valued. Practice meditation, mindfulness, stillness.

Perhaps, if we hold space for ourselves without the need for words or actions, we will learn to be more patient for others. A problem heard is a problem halved and that in itself is incredible. For self-growth, the person experiencing the pain needs to be the one to heal it, not an
outsider, who says the right thing or speaks louder.

When you jump in over the top to force your opinion, you take away that chance for the sufferer to self heal. You steal their chance at self-expression. You become a truth thief, trying to redirect their truth.

So take a breath and offer your intentions via energy. By sitting and listening, your intention will be heard louder and remembered clearer than a collection of words strung together.

The simple but clearly not easy offering of being there, speaks volumes, and is the greatest gift you can give to another.

By Amy Booth

Amy is a yoga and pilates teacher and personal trainer in Brisbane, Australia, where she runs a cute riverside studio and a personal training business. In addition each year she runs yoga and hiking retreats.

To find out more:
Facebook: Amber Tree Yoga and Retreats

Give yourself silence to sit and listen, right now!

Meditate & Cultivate Calm with Keith Allen

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