Everyone loves to tell you stories about themselves and what they have gone through or are currently going through in their own lives. As a society, we are fabulous story tellers. The problem is that we are constantly hurrying up the person telling a story, so that we can then turn around and tell a story of our own that relates or tops off the other person's story.
It is like a game of chasing our own tails. Often, I feel as we are horrible listeners, or even don’t know how to truly listen to others.
When was the last time you took the time to really focus on listening and grasping the whole story that the other person was explaining? How often do we “act” or “passively” listen to the other person?
If you think back through your day, could you honestly say that you know what is going on in the lives of the people that you interact with daily? Can you recall the last conversation you had, in detail? Do you have the ability to follow up with your friends' lives and know what they are really going through?
Many times, the sad answer is no; we don’t recall the details of our interactions with friends, family or coworkers because we don’t really listen. We constantly rack our brains with our own stories that we can tell, and we just can’t wait until the other individual is done so that we can take front and center telling our more superior story.
How does it make you feel when you cannot get a word in edge wise? What happens when someone is so busy dominating the conversation, that your personal thoughts and life are completely pushed to the wayside. This happened to me recently, and I can honestly say that I left that conversation emotionally empty and physically exhausted.
I want to challenge you, as well as me, to really spend today actively listening in your conversations.
It is sad that we don’t have the ability to empathetically listen to other people and what THEY are going through in their lives without selfishly wanting to one up each other. I want to challenge you, as well as me, to really spend today actively listening in your conversations. Try to stay silent and let the other person talk, vent and tell stories, without feeling the need to interject or letting your mind wander.
Actively listen and challenge yourself to know the details of the other person’s life, so that you can follow up with them tomorrow or even next week! It will be eye opening how truly amazing and rewarding it can be to really engage and listen, but also how difficult it is to keep your mind on that conversation, to stay present in the moment without wanting to interject or let your mind wander to other things!
Let’s strengthen our relationships by working on improving our ability to actively listen and really care for others. You will be amazed at just how wonderful this will make you feel and how much the relationships with others will benefit and be strengthened because of it!
Let's Love More!