The Conversation: Listening With Love
Have you ever been totally pissed off, emotional, on the verge of tears, already in tears, or just simply stressed out with the need to vent to someone? Or totally excited and ecstatic about something exciting going on in your life that you want to share with a friend, a mother, a spouse, a partner, a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc....the list goes on. You begin to share and they completely take over the conversation before you finish your second sentence. Maybe, even someone approached you and asked you about your day or what was going on in your life, and before you can even respond, they’re completely disengaged as they turn away or gaze at their phone. Or they interrupt you and give feedback that you really didn’t need or ask for.
Well I have and it’s totally annoying! I have more times than I can count. We all have. Nowadays, sadly to say it’s how many conversations go. With all of the technology, notifications and apps on our phones and other devices it’s hard to stay focused. There are so many distractions.
Listening is one of the give and takes of relationships. Being there for the people we love and care about in times of need through active listening. In moments of venting and being vulnerable or even expressing good news, I know that I want to be heard. I can only think you do too. I want to express my feelings, my worries, my concerns, my excitement, my joy, and really be heard. I want the other person to hear me. To NOT pretend they’re engaged and listening, but really listening. By making eye contact, putting their phone away, and not always feeling the need to give feedback...good or bad. Generous listening with love. To be heard and validated by others through generous listening and silence, is a selfless act we can so freely give. But, it’s not given enough.
On the other end...my part as the listener, I’m totally guilty of all the things I’m griping about. This is something I am working on. Generous listening. Putting the phone away, making eye contact, being aware of my body language and engaging with active generous listening. When someone comes to me with the need to share or vent about a bad or good day, or even something as simple as their annoying dog keeping them up all night. Lol. Just listening, perhaps giving a smile or a laugh in return, but not always feeling like I need to chime in, take over the convo, save them from feeling their feelings or giving feedback that they didn’t ask for. Rather listening with love...I believe this is one of the most precious gifts you can give to someone.
So, join me, in generous listening with love.