So, as many of my friends already know, I made a New Years Resolution this year to not take people for granted: to thank my friends, let them know how much I appreciate, and basically let them know they are important and indispensable part of my life. And I feel like I'm following through with this one. I make sure I say out loud to friends and family how I feel about them, leave notes, etc.

But I feel like I also think I'm going to make a 1/3 of the way into the year resolution: become a better listener. I think that it goes hand in hand with my first resolution. How are people going to know that you love and appreciate them if they don't think you care or hear anything they say to you??

So, to begin my new resolution I've been reading some articles online. I found this one on oprah.com that certainly seemed to describe me:

"The next time you are having a disagreement with your spouse, child or co-worker, stop formulating a rebuttal while the other person is talking. Instead, Dr. Robin says you should really listen to the other person's grievance. "If you were really just soaking their words … you wouldn't be so able—so quickly able—to respond in a knee-jerk reaction."

Things that spoke to me as I was reading articles:

-wikihow's "How to be a good listener:"
14. "Most information is not remembered because we are thinking of OUR response to the speaker and therefore missed what was said. Resist the urge to formulate your responses. That is active thinking, not listening. If need be, take notes that will trigger your response should you have opportunity later to share it."

-Listed under Barriers to Listening:
"lack of attention span. " lol

-From "How to Listen and Retain":
"Avoid making predictions.
If we think we know what someone is about to say, we stop listening and start drifting."

-From stress.about.com:
1. Stay Present. Sometimes people feign listening, but they’re really just waiting for their friend to stop talking so they can say whatever they’ve been mentally rehearsing while they’ve been pretending to listen. People can usually sense this, and it doesn’t feel good. Also, they tend to miss what’s being said because they’re not focused.
2. Don’t Give Advice. It’s common to want to immediately give advice and ‘fix’ your friend’s problem. Unless it's specifically requested, don’t. While you’re trying to help, what would work for you might not work for your friend; also, advice can feel condescending. Unless they ask directly for advice, your friend probably just wants to feel heard and understood, and then can find his or her own solutions.

I'm on the path i think. Mostly, I need to take the time to take in whatever's being given to me. When people share things with you, it's a gift, that I think I sometimes squander. So, I plan on actively appreciating it more by shutting up every now and then. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Those are good pieces of advice! I like the idea of not planning your response while the other person is speaking. :) Yay!