Have you been through moments in life, in which you desired to be heard, without being judged? Sometimes, all we need is someone who listens to all that we want to share, and just be there with us in those difficult moments. It is not for advice or judgement, not for a conclusion or an opinion, but only to feel heard and valued that we look forward to in such times.
Not everyone is able to listen without judging. Even those who expect to be heard, can not at times be such listeners to others. Judging is so quick, that even before a person completes his talk, an opinion is already formed in our minds. Sometimes people appear to be listening and we feel comfortable sharing all that is in our minds until there is a pause and we realize that a piece of advice is already coming our way.
It is natural to offer a solution or opinion to someone who talks to us about any experience or situation. But unless the person asks for it or requires it, should we make our own judgements and provide solutions? It is more important to empathize with the person’s feelings and make him/her feel heard and valued. It is important that we make an effort to understand what the person is feeling.
It is definitely not so easy to put ourselves in another’s shoes. But, instead of waiting for an opportunity to impose our feelings and opinions on others, it is necessary to convey empathy by saying something which shows that we really understand how the person is feeling and that we are actually listening. Keeping aside the impulse to provide a judgement or instant solution and actively listening only to understand what the person has to say, helps us bond better with the person.
Listening actively is more than just hearing what is said. It is trying to understand the point of view of the person who speaks to you. Many times we find ourselves very good at talking to people, but when it is our turn to listen to what someone has to say, we fall short. Listening could be a challenge to many. But, for relationships to get stronger and for good interactions, listening attentively and showing empathy are essential.