How often do we actually sit down and listen to people? I mean really listen—not thinking about what we’re going to say next, not noting how something reminded us of what we saw on TV last night or something silly our neighbor did. We all know that communication is key to, well, just about everything, so how is it that we can sometimes be so bad at it?
Some of the best stories might be right in front of our very
eyes—er—ears, but we’re too preoccupied with whatever is going on internally to
realize it. Worse still, we may be missing out on opportunities to better know
people, even people as close as our family.
Humanistic Psychologist Carl Rogers believed that active listening was the most important trait a therapist could have, and that having a good listener in your life is essential to your happiness. We all want to feel like we matter: we all have something to say, and we all want someone to listen. (I mean, why else are we on here blogging?)
So sometime over the next few days I challenge you to sit down and really listen to someone, as if their words revealed the greatest secret of all time. It could be a friend, a family member, or even just some chatty person in line at Starbucks. You’ll probably brighten their day, and you might get a story (or blog post idea) out of it as well.