I am extremely sensitive when it comes to the way people listens to me. Maybe because I come from a culture where people speak over each other, competing to win attention and the space to talk! Being the younger of four children, I didn’t have much chance to be heard. This made me offer my ears and value friends that are good listeners.
This is so important to me that I become aware of how few good listeners are around! People often turn the focus of the conversation to themselves by saying something like “ me too, this happen to me when blah blah blah”- and no longer are they paying attention to what I am saying! I get frustrated, sad and don’t feel like sharing more.
Holding space for someone is a precious gift you and me can offer. Its called “active listening”. We can listen without interrupting and we can ask questions or reflect back what we are hearing to encourage our friend to speak more and go deeper. This allows them to feel heard, therefore opening their heart, creating a better understanding of the situation and of course creating a deep connection between you and them.
You can say things like:
-“sounds to me like you feel…about…”
-”what I hear you saying …”
-”let me see if I understand, you …”
-”and then?”…really?, ah, how was that for you?”
As a kinesiologist, my job is to help the client explore and listen to themselves. Often, the client knows what’s best for them. It is not my place to advise, analyze or evaluate. I have found that being a good listener, is a very healing gift. Sometimes, thats all that we need: to be heard, seen and met.
I encourage you to fully listen. Your friends will love you for that. Stay curious and open. Put yourself aside for a moment and just listen.
- And if you do want to take this practice further, you can study NVC (Non violent communication, just google it)
Many blessings and joyful connections! Dilma