Listening is an important part of how we connect with others in the world. Good listening allows us to better understand those around us, to see through their eyes, to empathize, and ultimately to better understand ourselves.

Studies have shown that people who are good listeners have stronger relationships, are better able to anticipate problems and resolve conflicts (when they arise) with more tact and empathy.

We can practice listening whenever we want, even if no one else is around. Try it now. Close your eyes and notice what you hear. Sounds present themselves even in the quietest of places, if we are patient and observant enough to hear them. The next time you are outside, count how many sounds you can hear. Then, in your next conversation, take your sharpened listening skills with you, really paying attention to what is being said.

Listening is a practice of generosity. Without saying a word, you can let someone know that what they are saying is important and that you are interested.  When we listen, we bring someone to life. One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what the other person has to say.

Somewhere along the line we know that without silence, words lose their meaning, that without listening, speaking no longer heals, that without distance, closeness cannot heal. Tania Israel said that listening may not be the most exciting part of conversation, but it is essential if you want to have a meaningful exchange with another person.
For her part, Agatha Christie would say that a person who listens carefully is always stimulating.

And this is what the famous Dalai Lama suggests: When you talk, you are just repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you can learn something new. I think this is too true and we should indeed respect this recommendation.

It is also too true to realize that deep listening is the kind of listening that relieves another person's suffering. We can call it compassionate listening. You listen with one purpose in mind: to help them empty their heart. It is almost Buddhism.

I truly believe that this is a sign of respect. Listening to this person makes them feel better, when they feel listened to, they feel better, finally someone who understands me. I liked this word from Toni Morrison 'For me, all storytelling begins with listening. When I read, I listen. When I write, I listen - to silence, to inflection, to rhythm, to rest.

Saying what you mean is the best way to get across rather than saying what people would rather hear. Put aside your cell phone, turn off the TV and listen. A certain author once said that listening is a power, listening to yourself is a super power.
What better way to communicate than to listen between the lines. This ability to listen not only to what is said, but also to what is not said.  Is it possible that listening is as powerful as loving.

Finally, I'm going to use the words of this new author, Bernard Kelvin Clive. What he says is not only appropriate but also enjoyable; " There are times when all you need is someone to listen to you without judging you - without telling you what you should have done or should be doing, but simply listening to you."

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