Ah! That time of year when we make resolutions and promises that we will keep for about a month and a half. HAHAHA! Kudos to ya’ll who keep your resolutions all year long! But I think I am one who tends to fall out of practice a few months in. (Why is that? Why are our resolutions so hard to keep?) As for my list this year, I have the traditional “get in shape,” “eat healthier,” and “look for joy every day” on my list. But I have also included “LISTEN MORE.”
I am one for talking…and I’ve got stories. That’s usually how I start too, “So, here’s the story…” More or less my stories are about how I got such a bruise on my body (Klutz is my middle name), or how the random date went (goodness there are some interesting people out there looking for love), or even what else my awesome life of coincidences and circumstances has dealt me–thus the blogging adventure.
I have my moments of listening…at least I think I do. But in everyday normal conversation, I tend to want to tell my story or put in my two cents. Alas, I even have this bad habit of guessing what the other person is trying to say, and I will then proceed to say it for them. Sigh.
A quick shout out to those of you who don’t slap me when I interrupt you!
There is much to be gained by listening to another, and it is such a powerful form of communication. Listening requires focus, and paying attention to the story that is being told. Listening requires me to be aware of the other’s pitch in voice and body language. Hearing is picking up sounds, but listening is keeping the other person’s needs and concerns as the primary focus. (Random fact: talking raises our blood pressure, whereas listening can bring it back down.) Cool! When I really listen to someone, then I learn to see the story from their perspective, getting the whole picture, and not just the bits or pieces that I had perceived.
I resolve to listen, to hear what the other person wants to say. I resolve to listen, not just to reply, but to listen to actually hear and understand the other’s needs. I resolve to listen more and talk much less.
Here’s to the grown-ups making their resolutions—may we stay committed all year long (and even longer!)
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