April 10, 2019

The lost art of listening.

Our fast-paced, predictive-texting culture has fostered the reign of passive listening. Listening without intent and likely with distraction can create a void in our relationships.  It leaves room for our responses to fall flat and render as self-serving.  Truth be told, we have likely been on both the giving and receiving end of this listening style.

Shifting our listening with purpose can truly give more meaning to our relationships.  Let’s begin by setting boundaries so we can make indelible reconnections with those in our path.

Unplugged Conversations

For a device that was once, arguably, “for emergencies only” this amazing tool has slowly immersed itself into our lives. To the point, we are compulsively buried deep within the annals of social media just swiping away at meaningless stories and posts. Begin setting your boundaries for your relationships by placing your device in a less distracting position. Consider setting your phone face-down. Consider an app that will prohibit use for a specified amount of time, barring actual emergencies. Make a cell phone accountability pile; all phones, all out on the table; silenced and unused. Be intentional with your personal time.  

Visual Connection

The eyes are very much a window to the soul and once you engage in eye contact, you connect on a much deeper level. Eye contact allows you to listen with empathy. It allows you to respond more meaningfully. It brings the much-needed sincerity and conversational balance that we all crave in our relationships. Restoring eye contact within our day-to-day interactions will yield a more profound spiritual development in your life. You will reconnect with others in the most intrinsic way. 

Rules of Engagement

Once you’ve committed to less distractions and pursuing eye contact, engaging with others will be the most natural way in which you grow. You will see yourself spending less time talking over each other and more time building lasting memories. Conversations will be nuanced and unfeigned. Genuine responses will cultivate value within your relationships. After you part ways, each of you will have a sense of fulfillment that can only come from actively participating and listening.  The rewards for active listening are not one-way. Changing your communication approach will enrich your life. The spiritual rewards are robust and plentiful. As we prepare to receive communication more fully, life will unify with harmony.