Listen Really Listen

The funny thing about the concept of “listening” is that people assume it’s so easy because it comes naturally. Believe it or not, it doesn’t. Some people seem like “natural born” listeners, while for others it takes an effort and a mindful approach to become an engaged listener. Listening to someone properly, whether it is your friends, colleagues, or significant other, will work wonders on your relationships. Below are a few ways how good listening will benefit you in the long-run, and a few tips on how to effectively listen to another person.

Communication Will Improve

When two people aren’t listening to each other, communication in the relationship will gradually dwindle over time. Eventually, you will barely speak at all in the knowledge that you won’t be heard. When people can clearly see that you’re intent on listening to them and intuit their true feelings, they will open up to you more. You’ll begin to see your communication drastically improve. The key to relationships is communication, and the key to communication is to listen.

You’ll Get to Know Yourself

When we “listen” to someone and the only thing we can focus on is how we’re going to react when they stop talking, we’re not really listening. Listening properly is healthy not only for the other person, but for ourselves, too. It gives us a chance to process the information properly, and figure out how we really feel about the matter. This allows us to respond honestly, openly, and without defensiveness.

You’ll Have More Intimacy

In close relationships, not listening to each other can increase resentment about the situation at hand and over time damage intimacy. However, once you learn how to listen to your significant other and understand his or her feelings better, you’ll find yourself becoming more open to intimacy. Before you know it, you’ll be at the same blissful stage you were at during the beginning of your relationship.

But How Can I Listen?

A great way to truly listen to what someone else is saying is to clear your mind of any distracting thoughts or worries, and direct your entire attention onto that person. You may notice the impulse to interrupt or speak up, to comment, analyse, or have an impact in some way. Learning to listen without interruptions legitimizes the other person’s feelings. It also fulfils in your listener a strong and important need of being heard.

You may also find it helpful to work with a therapist in Ottawa to develop better communication and listening skills that are at the heart of healthy human interaction.