Do We Really Know How to Listen!

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell “why I should not feel that way”, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel like you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me. Strange as it may seem.

LISTEN! All I ask is that you listen. Not talk , nor do, just hear me.

And I can do for myself – I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering. Not helpless. When you do something for me that I can do myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.

But when you accept a simple fact that I do feel what I feel , no matter how irrational, then I quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what is behind this irrational feeling .

When that is clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what is behind them.

Perhaps, that is why prayer works sometimes for some people, because God is mute and doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. He/She just listens and let’s you work it out for yourself.

So, please listen and just hear me and if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn, and I will listen to you.

~Anonymous

The amazing person who wrote this does not seek any credit but deserves all of it. I dream of meeting him/her just to thank them for putting into words what I missed my whole life. Expressed so simplistically what most of us are unable to recognize, let alone say out loud.

The ability and courage to listen to yourself first and then ask to be heard is, indeed, admirable.

It seems, listening has been the theme this week. Hence, it is only appropriate I share this with you. It is the first piece on the blog not written by me. (I so wish it was!!πŸ˜‹) I came across this brilliant piece of writing recently and was absolutely blown away by it.

Learning the basic life skill of listening has been a game changer for me. I now feel as if I had never truly listened to others or even to myself. I had heard all the jargon and knew all the theory but it didn’t experience it until I learnt the actual method and practiced it.

It is like I got a ‘behind the curtains’ look at the tricks of a magic show. ✨ Ta~da! It is a true art form.

White Noise

Well, with this new found skill accompanied by the enthusiasm for it, I feel like a brand new radio or television set that needs tuning. Find a desirable transmitter and tune in to a channel consciously. Currently, it is like someone put amplifiers to my ears.

Most of what I hear is white noise. Never knew what it meant until now, really. I have to learn to mute it out. The chatter is insufferable. I now know what the Sound of silence feels like. Sang it in school all the time for western music, never understood what Simon and Garfunkel were talking about! Active listening is a conscious choice. So, I have to learn to be able to log in and log out seamlessly. That is the goal.🀞

Meanwhile, it has been a delightful discovery to be able to hear the feelings in peoples’ words and experience my own simultaneously. It is quite miraculous to know how much more lies behind the sound of words and is often missed by the listener.

The ability to find the feelings and touch the thoughts is a gift, one I am grateful for and wish to cherish and embody.

Now, for the other side. To be heard and understood is a human being’s deepest desire. It remains often unfulfilled as most people are not geared up to listen.

We only listen enough to respond, that too from our own perspective, generally leaving the speaker feeling disregarded and dismissed. This is hurtful. Our inner voice gets drowned in the noise too.

We have all felt that feeling even if we are not consciously aware of the pain caused by it. Our reaction to defend or withdraw is proof of that. I believe, to truly listen is the biggest gift we can give to ourselves and others.

So, here’s to my generous friend! Thank you for listening. I am now ready to listen to you!

@thethinkingcaptain

For those of you who want to learn this art form, please do visit them. https://parivarthan.org/

The Elves in my shoemaker life!

“People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening!” ~Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.

9 thoughts on “Do We Really Know How to Listen!

  1. I think to some extent I fall somewhat into the group that listen more. But it’s also true that listeners also need to be heard. I know that helpless feeling. Loved reading the article. God bless you

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  2. Active listening is a conscious choice. So, I have to learn to be able to log in and log out seamlessly. That is the goal….. loved this. Usually we listen with the intent to reply and get over it… Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us.. a shoulder… Nothing More – Nothing Less.

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  3. One more excellent write up … its just not thinkingcaptain but these one makes reader thinking…. Truely said—– The ability and courage to listen to yourself first and then ask to be heard….

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