“When I can really hear someone it puts me closely in touch with him. It enriches my life.”
The truth in the above quote comes about in this: we love being successful listeners because it validates us as competent, caring, socially-conscious human beings.
When we have listened, and understood, even the hidden meaning, we celebrate in measures of wellbeing hard to replicate. At the confirmation of the speaker, that we’ve received them accurately, we experience enormous relief. We’re relational beings, pining for such acceptance or priding ourselves on our social competence.
And when we’ve misunderstood someone, failing to receive their communication, all sorts of barriers come between the two of us. More than that, we feel horrible for somehow having betrayed the essence of good communication.
Listening is not only good for the communicator of the message; it’s a blessing for the listener, too.
Listening Is Worth The Effort
If there’s one way we can control how people perceive us it’s via our listening ability. Yet, such an antiquated skill of human interaction is just so hard to execute in a consistent manner; and ever harder if our desire is to be heard rather than to hear. The mind produces many barriers to listening as it is.
When we listen well we invite others, if they’re so inclined, to listen to us well, too.
Listening well puts us in a position of confidence, and therefore power. Not of power over the relationship, but power to communicate, to achieve authentic rapport, and to facilitate intimacy and trust. That power is a positive control for the relationship.
The attention people pay to us when we relate with comfortable proximity is great recognition; there’s a lot of love in that. Perhaps it could be a natural extension that a good listener is popular and also seen as peaceful within themselves.
There’s Always Room For A Listener
There will never be a shortage of people wanting to share; those with a burden to express themselves. Not everyone is the extrovert, for some are just nervous, and others genuinely think what they have to offer is interesting or of value.
The listener provides a wonderful outlet in these situations, and many more. They facilitate other people’s healing. They learn to listen for the things that aren’t said. They learn to re-hear the messages of yesterday, checking through reflection, for not all the communication occurs in the moment of the conversation.
Though we have two ears and only one mouth, we perhaps have twice as much speaking as listening. Reversing the trend begins with us if that’s our desire. There will always be plenty of need.
Listening brings enrichment. Focusing on another person conversationally can help us appear as competent, caring, and socially conscious people. Confidence, peace and wellbeing are among the blessings received for listening.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.