Listen to understand

I am guilty. Guilty of not really listening the way I should. But it doesn’t have to do with not being interested. Sometimes, the opposite gets in the way. What I do, while the other person is talking, is to think about an advice I could give or what to say in order to look or sound smart. It doesn’t really matter. It is both rather selfish and I make it about me. Again, I often do it to help others. However, there is the danger to miss the actual message.

I do that although I know that often I just want the other person to listen, to understand and to be there for me. I mean we are all capable of finding solutions on our own and, if we need advice, we will ask for it.

what I do then is to remind myself what I would need. I try to be mindful and stop thinking about my next reply. I really try to listen to understand instead of listening to reply. What I experience is that I feel closer to the other person and it also takes away stress to come up with the “right” response. Just completely focus on your counterpart with the goal of understanding the other person.

It doesn’t mean to not ask question or remain silent all the time. Question can help to increase understanding. I guess it makes sense to reflect on how we communicate and why, if we often interrupt or think about our own response, we do it and how we can change it.

Maybe the following video will help. I watched it probably a dozen times and I used it in my workshops or as preparation for others. Enjoy =)

Here are the four mantras for compassionate listening:

  1. Darling, I am here for you.
  2. Darling, I know you are there.
  3. Darling, I know you suffer.
  4. Darling, I suffer. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.

Take care =)


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