Natural Healing Omaha Blog

Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are You Listening or Just Waiting Your Turn?

Are you guilty of being this kind of friend? Sadly, it’s so common that you might not notice the problem at first. You ask someone ‘How’s it going?’ and the conversation goes like this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving everything I’ve got at work, but no one recognizes the effort.

You: Yeah, I know how that feels. My boss sucks at recognition and praise.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: I know how you feel. Sometimes I just wanna scream. One time, I worked overtime on this big project for two weeks and nobody even said ‘thanks, good job.’

Friend: Geez, that sucks. I hate my job. I wish I could quit.

This conversation is going nowhere fast, and both of you are bound to end up resentful and bitter. Neither one of you is really hearing the other person. You’re both waiting your turn to tell your own sad tale of woe.

What if you stopped to really listen to your friend? You could change the whole direction of the conversation.

In this next scenario, you’ll see how the dynamic changes when you stop to hear the words. See if you can figure out what’s different about this:

Friend: I’m annoyed because I feel like I’m giving my all at work, but no one recognizes my efforts.

You: It sounds like you don’t feel appreciated.

Friend: Right. The boss just walks right by without ever asking how I’m doing or to say ‘good job’.

You: Hmm. I’m guessing there’s something you’re especially proud of that you’d like your boss to notice.

Friend: Actually, there is. I just finished a project in record time and the client was so happy because she saved quite a few dollars in the process.

You: So, your client took the time to say how great your work was? That’s cool.

Friend: Hey, you know, that is cool. I’m feeling pretty good about that.

You: Way to go. How about we celebrate over coffee?

What’s different about this exchange? The focus is not on you.

Instead of offering an example of how lousy your life is, too, you can turn it around. Demonstrate that you hear what was said by saying it back in a different way.

Let your friend be heard.

You’ll get your turn another time. This is her moment. Make an effort to listen. Don’t expect the favor to be returned. Give without asking for anything back.

During the holidays, you can start feeling stressed right about now. Stress is a major cause of health problems. Being heard is a simple, powerful, natural remedy for stress.

The effects are subtle but profound. Relationships start to heal. Anxiety and depression lessen. Stomach aches and headaches and body pain ease up.

When you use a simple tool like this to shift the course of a conversation, you raise the vibe of your relationships. Step by tiny step, resentment, helplessness, and that ‘poor me’ attitude dissolve. A problem becomes a celebration.

Can you do it? Can you offer your generous, complete, undistracted, attention to someone?

It’s not necessary to completely understand and share in their feelings. It’s only necessary to listen. Try it.

What better gift can you give this season? Or any time or year!


Related Post:  A Naturally Healing Tea for This Time of Year



Comments (24)

  1. Thanks Mo, Your advice on listening better is something we all should remember. It is easy to fall into the bad habit of thinking of yourself instead of really considering what the other person is saying.

  2. I really appreciate this blog….for me the situation with the 2 versions helps me see the BOTH of me at the same time. I clearly have done both versions but strive for the 2nd one to live by. thanks for the reminder today………….

  3. Thank you so much for the examples! I’m arounds kids so much, and with them I tend to use my listening skills…but I probably need to use them around adults quite a bit more 😉

  4. struggling with this is natural and it is always good to have a reminder to really listen. being listened to is so therapeutic. being in a conversation and noticing the other person isn’t REALLY listening is deflating.

    I love this blog!

  5. Thank you for this timely advice with the holidays upon us more family interaction. Looking forward to the next blog Mo, thanks for your wisdom and attention to others.

  6. Thank you, Mo. Everyone needs to be validated just by being heard. Taking the time to really listen helps us all understand each other. Thank’s for the reminder.

  7. That is so true not to many people actually listen to the person thats talking they are tuned into themselves.Thank you Mo for this informative article.I learn so much from your articles and you.

  8. Years ago a teacher asked me to listen to what I was saying to myself as he was talking. Simply pointing out that I am ALWAYS talking to myself even when someone else is talking was powerful. What I am saying to myself dribbles out my mouth if I’m not conscious of it. Active listening is an excellent way to be conscious. My biggest challenge is knowing when I really need to insert myself and to do so. How do both parties feel heard at the same time? It is a beautiful dance, listening and being heard, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Miche, I believe we receive in the same measure that we give. With some friends and family, we get to be heard. With others, we’ve summon our patience and love to listen. A dance, indeed! Thanks for chiming into the discussion.

  9. Pingback: Back to Herbal Basics with Tough Cases | Natural Healing Omaha

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