Who Is Listening to YOU?
How often do you feel like you are talking to a wall when you are addressing someone? Is is because they are not listening? Or, is it because you (or they) are not clear in your communication? There certainly are people who simply do not listen or are not open to listening. Often times, however, it can simply be a communication gap. If no one is taking the time to clarify things in a way the other can understand or be open to, there is misunderstanding and non-listening.
While it may seem ideal that the other person learns to be a better listener, ultimately, the only person you can change in this situation is you.
Here are a few things to check in with yourself on:
- How is your communication? Passive aggressive or clear and direct?
- Passive aggressive communication often sounds like talking to yourself out loud so the other person can hear you. “Boy, it sure would be nice if I had help.”
- The clear and direct approach may be: “Boy, I could really use some help. When would be a good time for you to help me?”
- Are you being demanding or complaining? Or are you stating your needs respectfully?
- Who wants to be told what to do? “I want you to spend time with me, right now!”
- Complaining often serves to push the other person away. “How come you never spend time with me? We never go out or do anything. You are always too busy.”
- Are you saying the same thing over and over? Is it time to change things up?
- Many people tune out repetitive things. “I told you to put up the security camera at least three times. Why is it not done yet?” (Demanding)
- Have you tried stating your needs respectfully? “I really feel unsafe. I’d really appreciate it if you’d put up the security camera. When do you think you’d be able to do that?” (Clear and direct)
All this is not to blame you for being unheard. It takes two (or more). This is just a reminder that your communication style can often help make a conversation go in the direction you desire. I know for me, personally, I prefer someone speaks to me or with me, not at me. My inner rebel comes out anytime someone demands something of me and I am less likely to follow through or listen. I’d rather be asked than told. How about you? Do you listen better when someone demands things of you or asks respectfully?
It is easy to blame others for not listening to you, however it is also about being a good listener yourself. If you want others to hear you, you have to be open to hearing them. Do you actively listen to what someone is saying or are you listening for an opportunity to speak? (This may be a topic for another blog post, but I wanted to pose the question for you to think on.)
What if, listening starts with you?
Listening to yourself, your needs, your desires and expressing them in productive ways. The biggest question to ask yourself is:
Are YOU listening to you?
How often do you take the time to check in with yourself (mind, body, spirit, heart, senses, soul)? If YOU are not taking the time to listen (I mean, really listen) to yourself, why would you demand that of others?
Here are a some more things to check in with yourself on:
- How are you feeling? Happy, joyful, confident, or angry, sad, alone in the struggle? How you feel matters.
- How is your body feeling? Strong, healthy, vibrant or tired, weak, sore, stiff, tense? How your body feels matters.
- What is your energy like? Free and expansive or worn out, stressed, tense? What your energy is like matters.
- What does your heart say? What your heart says matters.
- Are you saying “yes” when you mean “no” (or vice versa)?
- Are you doing what you are “supposed” to and not what you desire to?
- Are you doing too much? Are you taking any “me time”? YOU matter.
- Do you need help? It is OK to ask (I’m giving you permission.)
- Call a friend or family member, church buddy, co-worker, etc… anyone you have good communication with.
- Schedule with a counselor, therapist or life coach. Sometimes just talking things out can help.
Listening is a two-way street. Good communication happens in the middle; a nice balance between listening to yourself and others. When you can respectfully express yourself and listen respectfully while some else expresses themself, magic happens.
If what I wrote today resonates with you, please let me know. I’m listening.
~ Jody Pogo :o)
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