My husband is a really really good listener and always has been. He is not as good at talking about himself. Maybe that is why he is such a good listener, ha! The cool thing is that he genuinely cares about what you are saying.
Listening is an art. I had to teach myself to listen and listen well. Unlike my husband I wasn’t always good at it.
I would find myself listening to people but not really fully engaging. I would be thinking about how I could relate to what they were saying or what I was going to say next. It was more about me then about the person that was talking.
When I met Eckhart Tolle, one of my teachers, he said learn to be present by listening to others talk. So I would practice. I would practice listening to others without any thought, intently listening without any judgement.
What happened was something I never really thought would happen. I began to learn a lot. I began to learn about people, about places, about adventures, about hurt and struggle, about love and hate. I began to understand the dynamics of people and how we are all alike, struggling the same, searching for the same thing, happiness and love. I began to have compassion for people in ways I had never had before. I learned about people’s desires, their wants and I began to encourage them to take risks to make their dreams come true.
And most of all I BEGAN TO LISTEN TO MYSELF. Listen to my wants, desires, dreams, struggles, pain, love, and hurt. I gained self-compassion, self-love, self-caring, and self-encouragement. I was giving to myself what I was giving to others.
And I have never turned back.
Now let me tell you this, none of this means I don’t totally enjoy talking about myself, because I do, but ONLY if the other person is willing to listen. Otherwise I would rather be the listener.
I encourage you to listen to your children, your partner, your best friend, your co-worker. Really listen and let me know how it goes for you. I would love to hear what you learn. And if you are already a good listener, share with me what you learn from listening to others. Comment below!