We are all speaking to everyone around us, verbally and non-verbally.
We all have something to say, but is anyone really listening?
Being a good friend or spouse requires us to have the skill of listening. To actively listen to others when they speak to us, not just hear them, is a needed skill for all relationships. Are we really listening to those important people in our lives? When we have a million things going on in our lives, it may be easy to zone out when people speak. However, we all need to stop and really listen, especially to our spouse, kids, family and close friends.
Sharpening our listening skills add so much value to the relationship with that person. Trust being one of the values added.
|Derivative from Original photo by Marcela Escandell . Used with CC.|
When someone I am speaking to really shows an interest in what I'm saying, it makes me feel like they care, I'm important to them and they are here for me.
How do you "really" listen to your spouse and friends?
Here is a general list of things we can do to show we are not just hearing but truly listening.
1. "Look at me when I'm speaking to you". Yep, my mom was right. When we look at the speaker, making eye contact, shows we are paying attention to the speaker, they are important and they have all our focus. This also shows respect.
2. Turn off distractions like the cell phone and TV. You are not listening, you are only hearing what others are saying if you are on your cell phone or watching TV. It shows them that what they are saying isn't truly important to you. eeekkkk...I'm guilty of this one.
3. Show that you are listening by responding to them by occasionally nodding your head, saying yes, no, hmmm-mmm or something appropriate for the situation. Also facial expressions like smiling, for example, may show the speaker you are truly listening to them.
4. Do not interrupt. Listen till they are finished speaking. Do not jump in with your counter argument or defense. Try to listen, to understand their point of view. Interrupting may only frustrate the one speaking.
5. Listen with your heart. Pray God gives you wisdom to truly listen and understand what is spoken.
6. When the speaker has stopped, ask questions that help clarify what they have said or offer a summary of what they have said. This may help ensure you understand what was spoken.
7. Pray that God would guide you in any and all responses that you give. Giving Him honor in all you say and do.
"My dear brothers and sister, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry"
At the end of the conversation, it's really all about making them feel heard and that you think what they have to say is important. It doesn't have to mean you completely agree with them, but that you are listening and you are here for them.
In what ways do you feel others are truly listening? Did I leave anything off my list? Please share in the comments below.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.