I am blessed with very good friends. People who I have known for years and a few new ones. I was recently driving with a friend to a meeting. We were in the car a little over an hour and talked the entire time. We were not solving issues to bring about world peace, conquering world hunger or analyzing the national debt, we were simply sharing our lives and listening. Sometimes that is all it takes.
We all need someone who will listen, not just to solve or tell us what to do, they simply care about us enough to listen. It is a simple skill and yet very few of us employ it on a regular basis. We get all caught up in our own lives, our own world, our own issues and problems that we forget to REALLY listen to people. Listening requires that we put aside whatever is going on in our head and pay attention to them. And why is that so hard? I think we forget that the world does not revolve around us AND what happens if we put our own needs aside and help others and no one reciprocates on our behalf? What? That would be horrible, and yet that is a fear for everyone deep down. To give and not get back when we are in need.
How do I know this? Because I hear it everyday with my clients, my friends, my family and people tell me this when I listen to them. When you listen people will tell you things, things that you never knew they were experiencing. Things that are on their minds and things they need to get off their chest. People will share their insights and ideas if they think someone is listening.When they feel ignored they clam up. How do people know when we are listening, we ask questions related to what they are talking about and that prompts them to talk even more. Stop listening and they stop talking.
Think about the times when you have a problem, who do you go to? Usually the person who will listen without judgement, without trying to fix it and asks you questions related to your topic. We all need people who listen and love us enough to keep listening. Are you that person for others? Be that friend because one day you too will need someone to listen.