Do you actually listen when someone is talking to you, or do you listen to respond? Or perhaps listen to the beginning and wait until the person is over to tell your own story?
It really is an art to listen just to listen. To hear the person’s words. To recognize the story they are telling. To listen and be empathetic.
I am guilty of not always listening. But for the most part, I believe I’m a good listener. I don’t listen and then jump in right away to tell a story of my own. I try to respond appropriately and with empathy. It’s not always easy and sometimes I get quite distracted with life.
I have encountered many people in my life, and most recently on a weekly basis, people who don’t really listen to what me or others are saying and immediately start talking about their own stuff. There is one person in particular who comes in and takes care of my dad once a week. She just doesn’t listen to listen. I find this frustrating and just separate myself from her. On the plus side, she takes good care of my dad which I am grateful for.
I wonder sometimes that if maybe we all learned to be more empathetic to others that we could make this a better world to live in.
So today – listen. Listen to the words and feelings people are saying. Don’t listen to respond. Just listen. You may learn more than you think.