Have you ever heard that sometimes you have to listen to what you’re hearing from someone? That sounds redundant because aren’t you listening when you hear them? Not necessarily so…we often times express ourselves in a way that makes perfect sense to us. We get it. Then, the person we’re conversing with responds in such a fashion that we are 110% sure they didn’t listen to a word we said. I’ve been there. I am there.
As I give these bullets, I’m not at all saying that I have mastered these tips, but I am saying I’m working hard at it.
- Don’t respond right away. Take a few moments to process what you just heard. Sometimes, we’re rehearsing our defensive rebuttal and not truly listening. Once you’ve gotten what was delivered to you together in your mind, then make sure you heard it right and then respond in a way that the other person feels you were listening and you care. We don’t always like what’s being said to us, but there’s always a deeper meaning behind the words, and we should seek to find that meaning beyond the surface. The bible says people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. I submit to you that relationships are destroyed for this too. As the saying goes, “Seek first to understand THEN to be understood.” And in all of it, let love lead.
- Try not to take it personally when someone comes at you with all their raw emotion. This is a bit of advice I’m still working on because it’s hard to not bite back when you’ve been bitten, but that’s not always the right road to travel. This is when your heart must take on the responsibility of your ears to listen to what’s really being said through perceived rudeness and behavior that’s uncalled for chased with a certain tone of voice. Before you jump, what is your heart saying?
- If the resolution is to agree to disagree, LET IT GO! Go get something to eat or a drink, but for God’s sake, MOVE ON. The lingering tension that YOU’RE breeding makes the environment less than joyous and peaceful. If the person or persons you’re talking to are ok, then you be ok. No one is feeling any type of way toward you, so stop being paranoid. It really IS ok; they really ARE moving forward, and they really ARE NOT thinking about it anymore.
- Don’t “hear” a nonexistent conversation. Don’t read into anything that isn’t said. Don’t make up your own interpretation.
- Sometimes, all that is required is for you to listen ONLY. Your ear means the world to someone. Try not to interject your thoughts when they weren’t requested. At some point, they will be needed, but discern when it’s the right time.
I was always the one waiting for my turn to talk and it never mattered what was said – true or not – helpful or not – didn’t matter at all. All that mattered was you agreeing with me or seeing things my way. Being wrong was NOT an option because being wrong meant, in some way, I’ve chipped away at how much you like me or love me or accept me. Completely immature… now, because of that kind of behavior, when I’m truly not trying to be that way, it is still perceived as such. It’s hard to communicate like this. It’s hard to establish harmony and agreement like that. You have two ears to hear, but I believe your heart can help process what gets muddled and blurred in your hearing. Ears to hear…hearts to listen. Try it.