One of the greatest things I’ve learned in life is to listen. Given that I am deaf in one ear (the right one, but thank God my left ear works perfectly), I’ve practiced the art of listening to people whom I consider important and unimportant. It exudes practicing several values too such as respect, openness, compassion and understanding.
I’m still young, but at the age of 27 I can already say that I have met various people from different walks of life and listening to them has been one of the few talents that made a HUGE difference. As a result, whether I agreed or disagreed with their joyous stories and repetitive qualms, it made them feel important just by being listened to.
I can also attest to that because definitely not everyone has the same talent and I’ve experienced firsthand. There are those who can’t seem to fixate themselves on my words probably because of preëmpted judgment or dismay. Oftentimes when they catch me ranting it sends off a negative impression or my optimism comes off as repulsive. But no matter what their reason may be, each and every one of us (this I know for a fact without survey or studies) that bottom line of listening to others is to silently show that they matter too, that they have a voice, and are worthy to be heard.
We are all undeniably self-centered in our own ways, but we can’t expect others to treat us differently with the way we treat them. You get what you give, maybe not from the same person you’ve given it to, but you get the similar, if not the same, treatment from people who matter as much to you.
So, a little piece of unsolicited advice, instead of preëmpted judgments to either the negativity and enthusiasm of others or both, LISTEN WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTION. You’re not three anymore to be excused from being rude by interrupting someone from speaking. So just listen with full attention, ground yourself, and be one with the world. Because each of us have our own stories to tell. It may not be that important to you, but to the person speaking, each word they say may mean the world to them.
Start making a difference by extending your time and patience. But! If it’s going in circles, getting below the belt and not making any sense, then by all means speak up; for sure they’ll listen too because they value you.
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” — M. Scott Peck
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway