The Art of Listening: An Introduction
Question, what did you think when you read this title? Chances are that without even looking into this article, you had a response ready. An anecdote, information dug up from your brain, a question, an opinion. Did you realize that your brain started responding, without having even listened to me? For that exact reason, listening, ladies and gentleman, has become an art.
Was the thought that popped up "I am such a good listener"? Think twice. You probably aren't. And that's OK!!! You're hopefully triggered by this article and are curious to learn more about actually listening to the people you talk to in the future! Now isn't that wonderful!?
The simplest math lesson we have all forgotten
Only recently did I make an amazing discovery: we have only one mouth, and two ears. We have only one mouth, and two ears. Even a baby knows this!!! One of the first math equations that we learn on this beautiful Earth, but one we don't really get, until... Well, I didn't learn this until recently. We have only one mouth and two ears, so why don't we all listen twice as much as we talk?
People love talking. They love it! There are even talkshows that fill your evening of TV entertainment! Celebrities, politicians, so-called experts on any topic you can think of... Social media is filled with monologues and one-way stream information (those damned bloggers!!!) The world is full of lovely people that all love to talk. And who haven't solved the equation (yet). Hey, it's OK! Like I said... I liked to talk, too!
To fully understand and master the art of listening, you will have to keep that little lesson in mind: if we all like to talk so much, why don't we use that to our advantage when we actually try to listen, and make other people feel good? Ain't that a fantastic plan?
First, to put the plan into action, you will have to understand where you come from yourself. Now let's look at you from two different points of view: first, there is your beautiful soul, with the sole purpose of making other people happy, which is arguably the only thing we're here to do (and arguable the only thing which makes us happy, but that is another blogpost!). On the other hand, there's your little insecure ego, working hard trying to make you happy.
There is a big difference between the two, and if you don't like the sound of ego and soul and all o'that, then just accept that there's always two sides on a coin, OK?
Ego must tell the world!
So, the ego wants to be heard. It wants to show the world the knowledge it has. Not even necessarily share it, it just wants everyone else to know how smart and well informed Mr./Mrs. Ego is. Ego hears something and immediately has an opinion. Ego hears something and immediately knows the answer. Ego hears something and really has the cure to make the world a better place. Ego must tell the world!
On the other hand, there's the soul. Your inner light and peace connected to something bigger. In that Universe of something bigger is no need for argument, discussion, proving yourself. Everything is alright there. You don't need to share your experience, your knowledge or your opinion. It is a safe space where all you want to do is connect to your purpose: a feeling of contribution.
The truth is, what your ego tries to do is not to make you happy. It is trying to make itself happy. But we don't really need to make our egos grow, if all we need to do is to reconnect to our feeling of contribution. A feeling of belonging. The real truth - ego's shut up now! - is that we need to give in order to be happy, not take. We need to give our time and attention to our fellow people, not take it away by destructively throwing our opinions and experiences onto them, like a bulldozer en fuego!
Time to clear the stage
Bottom line, the world has been our stage for too long. All we want is to be heard, so why not start and make other people heard? Next time you are in a conversation with someone, try to use your two ears instead of your one big mouth. Bite your tongue, grind your teeth... and listen.
Listening is more than just not talking, but it's a good place to start.
Interested in how to become a better listener? Read my blog post on ***COMING SOON*** :)
Wishing you a day full of beautiful connections,
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