This is topic I love to think about, to write about, and most importantly, to practice about. It is a very difficult skill, and does not require necessarily a lot of energy, but good energy. It is an ever-lasting process, and listening always requires fine-tuning, so to speak 😉 Which is why, there is no wonder that music is the melody of the heart!
I hear so often in my practice that people have trouble opening up, or, that their loved one does not open up. And why is opening up necessary? Because it brings us closer to that person, and closeness is what a lot of us look for in relationships. It feels great to connect to others. Opening up also helps us to identify with our feelings, to bring them to the surface, and for feelings that are hard to harbor, can be let go, if given the space to take flight.
But what happens a lot in adulthood, and can start even early in childhood, is that we are told to not feel that way, or told the way in which we should feel. And so, the feeling is not free to go. When we are listening and not judging, we feel less the pain of others, and so we feel less the need to tell the other what to do out of fear. Because, when we listen, we do not internalize what the other is feeling. We tune-in, and we are there to hear the next chord change. In a safe place, a person will feel better just on their own, and that is the magic of listening.
I like to ask the question, are you made better or worse by consolation? People who do not like consolation, are better to have silence reflected back, to be give the chance to solve their own problem, to be given the chance to be heard. When a person is made better by consolation, they like words of encouragement that all will be ok. And sometimes, this need can change too.
I really like this book, for raising kids, but also in adult-adult relationships, because it should not make a difference when it comes to emotions. As an adult, we simply teach our children how to deal with their emotions, that will be there all through their life. And a healthy adult, will still feel emotions, and will have the opportunity to learn to manage them, whether the emotions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or better, ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy.’
I feel like I could not do my job if I did not have the wonderful support like I do, of people who know how to listen. I am very grateful!