Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are indistinguishable. – David Augsburger
Listening is an important tactic for getting along with just about anybody. It’s amazing how just knowing that someone is listening to you brightens your day.
This is a big reason that little kids have big tantrums. They have something that is very important to them – but they don’t know how to say it. Even bigger kids – we had this same problem just this morning. Littlest was frustrated, and just needed someone to understand why she was frustrated. Even though there wasn’t anything I could do about it at the time – we were late for school – she knew I understood, and that was enough for that moment.
This is the very first tip from the wonderful book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.
Listen with full attention.
But this is important for more than kids. Do you ever find yourself hanging up the phone and filling terribly unfulfilled – because you heard a lot about what was troubling the voice on the other end of the line, but didn’t get to speak what you had to say? It matters to know someone is listening to you.
Everybody has the same need. To know that someone has heard you. Because that is the same thing as saying, “You matter.”
I think the world would be a better place if we all just listened a little bit more. Is it going to solve all of the world’s problems? No. But it might get us started. At the very least, we’d all feel better, and maybe learn something, too.