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Listening – An
Easy Gift to Give
When you listen to another – really listen, it helps to boost the
other person’s self-esteem. It sends the message that someone
understands and cares about them. It is the number one thing that
you can do to enhance your relationships with others. Sometimes,
simply just being heard can also be healing!
people believe they have no one that will listen to them. Even
sadder, is how often it is true. How many times have you felt that
you are not being heard in your own home, within your job, or in
your community? Have you ever been involved in situations where you
felt like you weren’t heard? Does this leave you feeling ignored and
overlooked? How often have you been too busy to sit down and really
listen to those you care about?
A common issue that I find
many of my clients suffer from is low self-esteem stemming from
being ignored or not being fully heard. They often state how during
childhood they were not heard and this feeling has continued into
adulthood, becoming a truth in their relationships.
it that we cannot give to those that we love the most, the powerful
gift of listening? It doesn’t cost a lot of money, or require an
outrageous amount of time. However, it does take the ability to
forget our self – our routine and thoughts for a few minutes and
totally focus on another. It also takes the skill of actively
listening. Neither should be faked – if they are – there is no gift.
What do most of us need in our lives – especially when we face
stress and problems? Someone to listen to us. Become an active
listener using love and compassion to show others that they are
important. Especially when those in your life are troubled.
Listening does not mean solving someone’s problems, or even giving
them advice. Sometimes people just want a good sounding board – a
Here are some tips on being an effective
active listener. Active means you listen in a way that lets the
other person know that they are being heard.
1. Make eye
contact. The majority of communication is relayed in nonverbal cues
like, body language and facial expressions. These cues play a vital
role in figuring out what a person is saying, and how they are
feeling. Eye contact and occasional nodding are great at affirming
to the other person that they have your full attention. So many of
us listen to someone talking while reading the paper or while
watching TV, and although we might hear what is being said – that
person does not feel heard. It is important to give active signals
that you are really listening, and caring.
2. It is ok to be
silent. When someone is talking and stops to gather their thoughts –
it isn’t a sign that you need to jump in to fill the dead air. Even
once you feel it is time to respond – it is ok to allow a few
moments to gather your thoughts. This sends the message that you are
really considering what was said – making your reply better
3. Questions. To hear more and listen deeply – do
not be afraid to ask questions. When you take the time to ask
questions you will be surprised what you will learn about what those
closest to you are feeling. Moreover, they will feel valued,
because you took the time to ask about them and their life.
4. Repeat back what has been said. When we periodically repeat back
what the other person is saying, it not only sends the message that
we are listening – but can increase communication clarity. It
ensures that you got the messages and gives the speaker a chance to
consider if they have articulated what they are feeling. This can be
done best by rephrasing it. (Examples, “So what I hear you saying
is…” “So I understand that the problem is…”)
to know that someone cares about them. When you listen to someone
actively, you help to enhance their self-esteem. Listening to
another’s problems can also prevent depression and release pent up
feelings. Give the gift of caring and compassion by really listening
When you become an active listener for others –
they will learn how to be an active listener from you, and soon they
will be giving the same love and compassion back to you. Start the
cycle of good listening within your circle of family and friends.
Then watch it grow and grow. It all starts with one; why not be the
Alice to learn how she can help you master
this topic - or transform other health, emotion, and spiritual
issues. Free consultations are offered to
all new clients to learn how Alice's work is directly tailored to
address your areas of concern. Don't wait - step onto your Healing