Many scientists have tried to discover the reason why humans feel sad and depressed, What is happening to them?Why are people needing a lot of help? What is that, which is the root cause of these issues? Why this? Why that? but never has anyone reached that absolute peak where they could get the perfect answer. So one can merely say its better to focus on “how’s” than “why’s”, better to concentrate and work on how to handle it through, than why Active Listening has come in the first place.
Something which we all know,
But is rarely realized.
Something which we all expect,
But is never offered.
Something which heals people,
But is never practised.
Something which is a wonderful gift,
But is never presented.
Set Your Sight On
This article elucidates empathic or active listening which is a contagious or a magical, profound and readily available gift you can give yourself or offer to anyone in your life whom you love. Empathic listening means listening to a person patiently, attentively and with a lot of compassion, it basically is active listening. When one listens to the other, it heals the person who is talking and also the person who is listening, as it allows us to enter a situation and think about what is the issue and how to address it. It is like a first aid one can give to someone who is emotionally dull and weak. One’s perspective on a particular thing also changes by mere listening.
We feel and say Listening as simple but Why do most people find it hard to practise or at least dont give it a try? Do you know why?
1.Listen to yourself :
We, humans, are the best creations of God and with benefits come burdens too. Many times we find it hard to handle it with ease. Lots of junk, a bunch of worries, tensions and fears clutter our minds. Everything seems to accumulate, besides that, lack of proper outlets make it worse. At this point, it is very essential to listen to ourselves, listen to our emotions, let them free up. Give yourself some time every day to think upon what you are thinking and ask yourself a few questions like :
- How am I?
- Is something bothering me?
- What is it that is disturbing me?
- Do I need to talk to someone?
- Am I worrying and disturbed about something I don’t know?
- What am I thinking mostly these days?
- Am I stuck somewhere?
Trying to introspect oneself is the best way to discover the issue or even shoot it at its root. Start writing down or at least give some time to meditate on these questions to listen and help yourself. You see, listening is very important at a personal level too. If you are worried about something you have no idea about, try reaching out to your parents or your mentors.
- Avoid talking to your friends of the same age group, because you share a lot in common and usually don’t have much knowledge about the issue you are worried and it will end up in much more confusion for both of you. But you can reach out to a friend who is always one step ahead of you, more matured and has much more insight than usual.
- Please do not try researching on Google, because it has way more information than needed and one might end up in fear and panic. Also remember, let not your discomfort be, because of what you do not know. Reach out to experts or elders to find it out.
You let things go when you are more aware of it, moreover, you have this feeling of being in control. So once you start listening to yourself, it becomes very easy to look at things you are facing and going through in a more matured way and thus handle it rightly.
2.Offer an ear to those in need :
You might come across a friend who is feeling dejected or your own sibling who is extremely apprehensive about her/his admission in college. Try listening to them, listen to what they say, what they feel, listen beyond their words. Do not presume anything about the issue, look through the other person’s eyes, paraphrase when needed, ask questions to clarify and understand better.
Most people listen with an intent to reply, not with the intent to understand. One thing you must keep in mind is that you are offering a listening ear, not a solution to their problem. Refrain from telling what you think they should do, at the same time, encourage them to try giving a thought on how you think, not directly though. For example: If you feel that they should inform their parents, try asking them, “How about talking to your parents, would that work ?” instead of saying ” You need to talk to your parents “.
This way one can always listen and in no time the other person feels better than what he initially was when he came up to you. You opening-up yourself to listen itself shows a possibility for their healing. Everyone has a certain longing to hear and to be heard. Everyone loves to be loved. So now you get me, why empathic listening is stated as a gift.
A conversation depicting empathic listening:
Eesha: Hey Tina, what are you doing?
Tina: Hi Eesha! Nothing much, trying to solve this math problem.
Eesha: That’s nice! But why are you sounding so dull, Is something bothering you?
Tina: Hmm…I don’t know, nothing goes well in my life these days and so…
Eesha: Seems like you are having a tough time. Would you like to talk over? I am here for you.
Tina: Not really but maybe I can try…
Eesha: Yes yes go-ahead Tina.
Tina: Loads of homework, no time to concentrate on my exams. Feels like there’s no time to even breathe, I am unable to sleep as well.
Eesha: Yeah…But you were never like this before, has the exam pressure taken a toll on you, Tina?
Tina: Maybe yes, not just exams though. I don’t get time to speak with mom and dad also. They think I am rude to them.
Eesha: I see…
Tina: However that’s not the case, I love them and want to spend a lot of time with them, but my schedule is so packed up.
Eesha: Did you try talking to your teachers about the heavy load of homework Tina? What do you think, would they understand?
Tina: I didn’t talk to them, but my classmates did, the teachers were like “you need to do, it’s for your own benefit “.
Eesha: Mm…what else do you do apart from school Tina?
Tina: I go to swimming classes, then I take tuitions for kids near my neighbourhood. There’s also a community club which I am working for these days.
Eesha: You seem to have a lot on your plate.
Tina: Yes I do. This vexes me up.
Eesha: I know…
Tina: I have a lot to do, a lot to learn. But seems like too many good things also become bad.
Eesha: We can’t say so Tina, but it really is squeezing out your time.
Tina: True! it does.
Tina: Thank you for being there Eesha, I feel good that I could vent it out. I think maybe I can cut out a few activities and give time for the others.
Eesha: Yes you can try it that way, Tina.
I’m glad that you feel better now, You are always welcome!
3.Not one, not two,..but Many :
Empathic or active listening is contagious, it spreads a lot of positivity and humility around. It changes people around and starts from within. Good leaders become wonderful listeners. We usually think that people who negotiate are good at talking or communicating well but that’s not the truth, negotiators are good listeners first and then good speakers. Because when you listen to people, they will be more ready to listen to you.
Empathic or active listening also helps in building a strong relationship, trust and consequently foster long-lasting bonds. Listening can thus heal the world. It’s up to you whether you want to listen to your thoughts and others and it is also up to you, to make this world a better place. Will the problems end? Will there be no conflicts anymore? No, there will be problems, misunderstandings and conflicts, but your willingness to listen and understand has the power to subdue it all.
On a Final note
Therefore I encourage you to listen to yourself and listen to the people around, it is one of the best gifts you can offer to anyone. If you are unable to handle some issue or want someone to be along with you and understand you, we here at Pinkymind are ready to listen to you. All you need to do is take a quick chat or book a free listener’s session. We are here to hear from you and your happiness matters the most. Download the Pinkymind App to get in touch with our psychologist online