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If I were to ask, we have two ears and one mouth. Am I right? That's so basic. All of us know that.
Now, what's my point? God created us with that body part and the number shows how much we require it to use.
We have two ears that means listen more. And one mouth that declares that we have to talk less.
On this part, I can say that I handle it well. Based on my friends, they appreciate the way I make them feel comfortable while telling me a problem or a story. They can feel I'm all ears. That's what they like. I'm listening.
But did you know that listening is different from hearing?
Based on Merriam-Webster:
Hearing is defined as "the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli". While listening means "to pay attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention, and to give consideration."
Can you see the difference? If you have to tell a story, would you like people to only hear it or listen?
Of course, listen. All of us don't want to say a tale if people are not that interested.
So how can we say if people listen to us?
Based on my observation... One person is listening if he at least nods. If he's answering after I ask him a question. If he's raising a question regarding the topic.
But why do we need a person who listens?
In our life, we face different situations, experiences, and circumstances. Sometimes we are so happy, we got sad, or excited. On these emotions, we need someone who cares. Someone who'll be happy with what we achieved. Someone who will comfort us if we're sad. Someone to be more excited about our plans.
One girl named Aliyah stated to me... That she loves to share her stories with me. Why? She can feel I'm listening. She can feel I'm ready to give attention to her. That every word that comes from her mouth will be valued. That every emotion that she felt, even though she knows I can't remove it, is respected.
Well, I love hearing stories. I also love to help. Knowing that people run to you when everything is so down, is so heartwarming.
Sometimes, I received a call from someone who's crying. I don't know what to say. So I just listen. Sometimes people don't want to hear something from us. They just want you to LISTEN. Just listen. It's all that they wanted.
And I think I'm that person. I'm willing to listen. I'm not a talkative one. So I think that's what they like.
They are irritated with someone who speaks the same problem as them. That every time they state their problem, that person also states his. So instead of comfort, the burden just got added. That's so heavy indeed.
Imagine that you ask someone to help you with the heavy baggage. But instead of helping you. He added more. That's inconsiderate.
So, how can we develop our listening skills?
Let me tell you some of my ideas and observation based on my experience.
1. If they are stating, try to look them in the eye. Not too long to make them uncomfortable. But a glimpse just to make them feel you're paying attention to them.
2. Allow them to talk. Even though you want to interrupt, let them talk. Just think that it's their time to release emotions. So be a sponge that swallows all the words. Give him time to speak.
3. Try to put yourself in their shoe. Understand the situation. Ask him if you don't understand what he's saying. In that case, he can feel that you're listening.
4. Avoid doing something that can interrupt the storyteller. If it's not that important, stop for a minute. Give him your whole attention. Maybe he needs you that much, rather than anything.
5. Don't forget to talk too. Even though he needs you to listen, a few words can be a big help to state that you care. Maybe a simple "Do you mean...?", "Really?" or "That sucks." can flow the communication very well.
So... I hope this article helps you to be a good listener someday. Someone needed your ears. So let them borrow it for a minute. 😊 Enjoy the conversation.