“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~ David Augsburger
Communication is so much more than the words being said. True communication is a very complex process, and it is a wonder sometimes that we even understand one another at all.
First, let us look at the one doing the speaking. The speaker may not be saying exactly what he or she would like to say, or may not be expressing it all that well.
Then consider the listener. The listener may or may not be paying full attention to what is being said. Even if really listening, he or she may misinterpret what is actually being said. The message may be filtered through the listener’s assumptions about what is being heard.
Listening is truly an art. Caring enough to listen deeply is a gift. When someone is really listening often they will encourage us to say more on the topic. They will ask questions for clarification. We will feel that what we have to say is important. They will not be in a rush to change the subject.
A sensitive listener will not jump in with solutions or advice, nor will he take the conversational ball and run off with it. We will not feel judged or criticized for what we are feeling.
Deep listening is a very active process; it takes work and consciousness. It requires both the head and the heart. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another. It is the way we should honor someone who is trusting us enough to share an important part of themselves.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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Communication in Relationships
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