“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” -David W. Augsburger
Is genuinely listening to other people a dead art? Most people have a conversation based on what they think the other person is going to say next. The time when the other person is talking is a chance for most people to come up with what they are going to say next. We want everyone to think we’re so smart and witty. The worst is when we are caught with nothing to say. So we’re constantly thinking about our side of the conversation. The person we’re talking to is doing the same thing. Which results in a disconnection from what is actually being said.
People listen to reply, not to understand. This happens so often that when someone really hears us and replies thoughtfully to what we just said, it is shocking. And refreshing. And heartwarming. Suddenly, this person who just took the time to listen to what we said is our favorite person. We feel loved and valued. We’re interesting! To have an actual conversation…this is a skill that is all too rare. It’s like love at first sight
What if we could solve all the bad in the world merely by listening to each other? What kind of a beautiful world would it be if everyone felt heard? How many tragedies have happened all around the world because people are frustrated about being ignored? Who can’t relate to being lonely, misunderstood, heartbroken, left out? This may not be the ultimate secret to bring about world peace, but it certainly can’t hurt. How can we practice being better listeners in our families, our work, and our life? Continue reading “The Lost Art of Listening”