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The Art of Listening

April 13th, 2010 by judytalks

Some people are born listeners. Others have to work at it. The good listener may or may not be a quiet, intuitive person, but to be a good listener, one has to be interested in the person who is talking.
I often talk here about grief and loss because those are the subjects I write and teach about. The art of listening in regard to those subjects has a high impact.
My last blog post dealt with the importance of giving consistent comfort to a grieving friend or family member. It included the fact of being a good listener. Here are some tips for listening if you happen to be one of those people who has to work a bit at it.

Ask a question and then stop talking. Don’t answer your own question.

Concentrate on the speaker. Lean forward, focus on that person’s face, and shut out surrounding distractions.

Encourage the speaker by nodding your head and affirming what they are saying. Reserve comments until they are finished. It may take awhile for a grieving or distressed person to “get it all out”, but the purpose of listening is just that. To lend your time and attention to the task of expression for someone you care about.

Practice listening and see if it doesn’t improve relationships, whether the situation involves a stressful situation or not. And if it does, be assured that you have offered a rare gift to someone in need. Simply listening gives immeasurable comfort in times of sadness and pain. It says,”Even though I can’t change how you feel, I care.”
Give someone your silent devotion.

Judy

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