I haven’t blogged in a while. I have been quite busy counselling some people that i never got to sit in front of the computer.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not doctor nor therapist… not even a guidance counsellor. Nor am i a pastor or a church elderly. I believe i am just a good listener. And sometimes, people just need someone who will listen.
Sometimes we get so busy –engrossed — with our own issues that we tend to take other things for granted. It feels so good to vent, whine, complain… Yackety yackety yak… feel sorry about ourselves… force someone to listen to our woes so we can feel sorrier for ourselves. We get to be so wrapped up in our worlds that we fail to see that there are other people hurting, grieving… or just plain alone and in need.
I spent the past week listening to my dad as he shared his thoughts… i listened to my mom as she shared the exciting (as well as non-exciting) parts of her week… i listened to my brother and all his woes… i listened to my helper and all her woes… i listened to the drivers and all their woes… I listened to a friend as he kept quiet about what he’s going through. Sometimes you don’t have to hear words in order to understand.
The whole exercise of listening is pretty exhausting, really. It somehow feels better (and more fun) when you’re the one doing the talking– specially when you’re dumping on someone else the baggage that you are carrying. And if you’re the type who loves to hear the sound of your own voice, then yackety yak away.
But when you listen, and i mean REALLY listen (astral projection during the conversation is not considered) you are not just sharing your ear, but you are sharing your time, your presence, your whole self.
A good listener is someone who suspends judgment, avoids criticism and keeps himself from interjecting his thoughts just so the other party will think he is so smart and knows a lot of things. Listening entails patience. Sometimes you are so itching to say something, but then maybe you are not expected to solve whatever problem the person you are talking to has. Maybe your listening ear is just what the person needs, not your wise solutions to his or her problems.
It’s true, we do learn more when we listen. We get fresh insights, we acquire different perspectives, we build — or rebuild — relationships.
We listen not because we want to impress others. Talking can do that. We listen because we care.
And most of the time, that’s all that really matters… knowing that someone cares.
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photo credit: weheartit.com