Listening – Key to Happy Relationships
It is said, “People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” People feel valued, respected and worthy when they feel they are being heard and understood. Effective listening allows the listener to better understand what the person is really trying to convey. Listening well promotes mutual love and understanding.
Try these simple but effective strategies to activate the Healing Power of Listening for Happy & Healthy Relationships
- Look at the other person
For any conversation to be healthy, try to be as present as you can when you are around other people. Look into the eyes of the person talking to you. Eye contact is extremely essential to make the other person feel comfortable to even pour their heart out to you. Not looking into their eyes gives the impression that you are not interested. Avoid getting distracted and looking into the phone or television when listening. Let the other person feel that he or she is very important to you and your life by giving them undivided attention. When you look at a person intently with concentration and focus, you connect with a person’s core. You connect with the same spirit that is present in you.
- Listen without jumping to conclusions.
Remember that the person speaking is using words to represent the thoughts and feelings inside them. You don’t know what those thoughts and feelings are. The only way you will find out what they are really feeling is by listening to them without judgement and assumptions. This way, you will open your heart to their needs and develop the desire to take the necessary action to help them.
- Listen to Understand, not to reply
Being silent in a conversation is the only way to give other people the chance to elaborate on how they feel. It builds trust and gives people time to think about what they want to say next. Silence gives people a chance to say what they really mean with ease. If we are too quick to reply or give our opinions, the other person would be left feeling restless and anxious for not having been heard correctly. This will affect the overall quality of conversation and may eventually lead to an argument which may not be beneficial to any party involved.
- Try to connect with their feelings
Miscommunications easily happen if we just go by another person’s words. Remember that words convey only a fraction of the message. As you are listening, reflect what you think the other person might be feeling from within. Face to face with a person, you can detect enthusiasm, boredom, or irritation very quickly in their expression. even in their body language, movement of eyes, mouth and shoulders. These are clues you can’t ignore. Encourage the person in front of you to express more and more how they are truly feeling. As they truly express their feelings, they will start releasing the emotional blockages and negativity held inside them. This will help you have an idea as to what you can next say or do to help the person or to resolve the situation appropriately.
- Power of “I Understand”
You may not completely agree with what the other person has to say. But do make them feel that they have the right to have an opinion. Try using the words, “I Understand” in your conversation with them. This will automatically make them feel more valued. And even if you don’t end up doing what they said, they too will respect your choice and decision more gracefully. This will go a long way in improving your relationship with them and in having a more happy, healthy and peaceful atmosphere around you.
Dr Karishma Ahuja, PhD