And the Importance of Being Heard
Do you have that rare person in your life who really knows how to listen? No? Well, here’s what it looks like.
“How are you,” they ask, then they wait to hear your reply, instead waiting for you to shut up so they can talk about themselves.
“Oh, I’m not gonna lie. I had a tough week,” you respond. Then, they actually ask you if you want to talk about it, instead of telling you that they also had a tough week.
“Somebody at work stole money from the expense account and a co-worker accused me,” you continue. Then, they actually say that they’re sorry that happened to you, instead of digging up a similar story from their past.
I have friends that are good at listening and friends, who after years of knowing me, couldn’t tell you a single thing I’m interested in, or a struggle that I’m going through at any particular time. When I die, and they find my journals, artwork, and the books I collected, it will be as if they didn’t know me at all. In their rush to be heard and known, they failed to listen. It’s a common relationship failure, one I’m sure I’ve also committed.
Isn’t that really the painful part? Not being known? For what is love if we aren’t first known, then accepted? And how do we show love if we don’t listen to others? Love involves sacrifice and it is a sacrifice to put our need on hold while we listen.
I think we are desperate for listeners in our lives. If you have one, treat them like gold. Better yet, return the favor and listen to them, too. In a balanced universe, both people understand that it’s good to take turns….take turns knowing and listening and accepting. It’s like a Kindergarten refresher course.