Have you ever thought about the difference in listening as someone instead of listening to someone?
How often do we listen to someone instead of listening as someone? Many times, it seems that we have been programmed to listen to someone. When we listen to someone, we are processing their words through our own filters, and the subsequent interaction that takes place stems from our own perception.
Processing information through our own filters actually keeps us in a powerless state and diminishes the power of the other person. Whether we fully realize it or not, we enter into problem-solving mode. When we try to fit what is being said into all that we have experienced, we begin thinking along the lines of helping, fixing, offering advice, and creating a solution. In essence, we attempt to fit their words into our own world view and respond in a way that correlates with how we interact with the world.
Furthermore, while the person speaks, we tend to be focused on formulating a reply in our heads instead of remaining present. Hopefully, we carefully consider the words being spoken and thoughtfully respond. Yet, how easy is it to react in the moment without communicating from a place of understanding?
Listening as someone changes the experience completely! When we listen as someone, we evoke empathy and compassion. We release the need to filter one’s words through our own experiences or perception. Listening as someone removes the pressure to offer advice or fix the person. Instead of viewing someone through a protective lens, we actually see the person in front of us.
Recently, I posted this picture:
Will you attempt to see others with eyes of love and listen with ears of understanding? In your future interactions with others, allow these thoughts to inspire you to listen as someone.
When we listen to others as someone we:
Attempt to fully understand instead of processing their words through our own filters.
Prevent ourselves from reacting without thinking.
Release the pressure of trying to advise or fix.
Connect on a deeper level, allowing a heart-to-heart connection to take place.
Create a safe space for people to reveal who they really are.
Empathize with them.
Step into our own power and allow others to have a powerful experience, as well. Gossip, over-reacting, and judging all hurt our self-esteem, and behaving in such a way belittles the other person. We build authentic self-confidence in ourselves and others when we interact with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Communicate more easily, openly, and honestly.
Listen intently and remain present. Instead of being occupied with our response, we are in the moment.
Engage. Being engaged in our interactions allows us to sense others’ emotions and pick up on the nonverbals, acknowledge them, express gratitude to them for opening up their hearts, and communicate from a place of genuine interest.
We teach them how to listen to us.
We all want to be heard and understood. In our fast-paced world, the art of communication seems to be giving way to short texts and quick responses. Listening as someone is a heart-centered experience. I believe people long for this type of connection.
In your interactions with others, how can you listen as them? How can you feel what they are feeling? How can you experience what they are experiencing? How can you be with them in that moment? How can you see them just as they are without responding from your point of view?
See others with eyes of love and listen with ears of understanding. You will appreciate the same consideration.
All the best,