How Listening Can Demonstrate Love
I always like to think of some simple ways that we can demonstrate love in our normal everyday encounters. Ten years ago, I realized just how important it is include love in all our interactions. I was helping to problem solve a simple miscommunication between my daughter and her father. He was making a non-negotiable request under the auspices of good parenting.
What he was requesting did not really seem all that inconsiderate or unreasonable. My daughter, however, complained that she wanted her father to be nicer and kinder towards her in his requests. She said that he was being rude in the way he acted towards her.
When I pressed for clarification, I determined that he interrupted her when she talked and wasn’t listening to what she had to say. The issue, being emotionally laden for her, made being listened to even more crucial for her to feel loved and cared for. Being my daughter’s coach, I encouraged her to tell her father that she needed him to be a better listener and to be more loving and considerate when he communicated with her. This made all the difference in the world to their relationship.
We all long to be heard and accepted, yet how often do we leave a communication encounter feeling hurt, upset, or frustrated? It is true that the way we feel most cared for is by someone listening to us. Listening is probably the single most important communication skill because when we feel cared for, we feel loved.
So how is it that we really need to listen?
Tips for Attentive Listening
❤ Be attentive — put your own agenda aside. Focus on what they are saying not how you are feeling about or reacting to what they are saying.
❤ Drop your defenses — you don’t always have to be right.
❤ Develop an attitude of curiosity — ask questions to better understand the person’s perspective.
❤ Ask for clarification if there is any chance you may have not understood or misinterpreted what was said.
❤ Pay attention to your body language — let your posture be open and engaged (attentive, nodding appropriately, good eye contact).
❤ Have an attitude of love and compassion.
❤ Listen so well that you can repeat back to them what you heard them say (paraphrase).
❤ Be able to convey their feelings (in your own words).
Practice Makes the Skill Better
Listening is simple and yet complex. It is a skill that takes a lot of practice to do well, however, the benefits can be phenomenal! Today and from now on, give the greatest gift of all to everyone you meet and see what a difference it can make to your relationships and in your life.
I wrote this little article ten years ago as a tip for my then very new website. I’d forgotten all about it until I found a version of my old website on DreamWeaver. It is still such a great tip I am reinventing it here because I want it to be a part of my new website.