Listening, how well do we listen?
Listening…we all know that it is a good thing to do, but do we really listen to others so they feel heard? I recently read an article put out by urbanconfessinal.org. How to listen when you disagree: A lesson from the Republican National Convention.
The writer made a great point in his article about listening to someone even though you may not share their view on issues. Issues like abortion, pro life or pro choice. I appreciated the way the writer behaved toward the individual he was talking too.
In this article a young women shared she was against abortion. Her protest was loud and emotionally intense. The writer made a point to listen and hear this women out. Regardless if he shared the same view on abortion as she did. It was impressive that this writer put his own thoughts and beliefs to the side and actively listened to why this women believed as she did. The result was clear and heart felt understanding of this womens point of view. She is unable to have children and would desperately love to have a child. For this lady, the thought of having an abortion hit the core of her personal pain. The writer listened and had compassion for this women.
The importance to have patience and understanding when you talk to someone. There is always a reason for the way people respond. Their responses can be deeply rooted in an experience they have had. Certainly evident in this encounter.
So why is it difficult to listen? As I work with individuals and couples I see a couple of things. 1.) we see things only from our lens. Our way is the only way that makes sense. When locked into our own way of thinking it closes the door to any other perspective or understanding. 2.) I see how people get offended. They react to the emotion of the other person. In either case the wall goes up and communication comes to a stop. I do believe maturity, tolerance, and kindness could make a difference. My prayer is that we all work harder at caring and listening to one another. Blessings!!