Try to imagine a situation where you tried to explain to a friend and he kept interrupting you with sentences like: “the same thing happened to me when …” and starts to tell you his story. personal anecdote without allowing you to finish yours. Or when you try to tell him about a discussion you had with a friend and he tries to ask you questions that distract from the conversation: “By the way, how’s your dad doing?”
Although we often do it subconsciously, this type of interruption is a clear sign of lack of attention, active listening, empathy, and also love. It is not conscious or deep listening. And this has consequences for our social relations.
What is conscious listening?
Deep or conscious listening is the type of listening in which they reside care, empathy and love for each other. It is an act of generosity, because through listening, we give our interlocutor time and space in our mind and our heart, as if we were welcoming a guest making room for him in our interior home.
We humans need to be heard, so the absence of this element it can hinder the interaction of the social relationship and cause conflict. In this way, it is difficult for the relationship to flourish and be fruitful, as there is no real exchange of communication between the two that comes from love. It works as if we were saying to each other: “There is no room for you in me”.
The truth is, most people don’t know how to listen. Often times, we don’t pay enough attention to the person next to us. Not just because of the amount of stimuli we receive from those around us (eg cell phone).
This also happens because we are immersed in our own mental noise; our attention is taken away by our thoughts. We are more attentive to what is going on in our mind, our concerns, what we want to say or give an immediate response to our interlocutor than to practice real conscious listening with the other, leaving space time to speak, practice silence and then participate when it touches.
How can we change this habit? The key is to change habits.
What to do?
When you listen to a person, don’t just do it with one thought, listen with the whole body. As you listen to what he says, pay attention to how your body feels. In this way, you will take the attention away from your thoughts and redirect it back to your body, creating a calm space that will allow you to listen without mental interference, leaving a void for it to enter you and connecting it with you. love., With love. .
If at first you have trouble practicing it with another person, you can start by listening to your body through meditation or through external stimuli, Like paying attention to the sound of rain.
When we practice conscious listening with others (it should always be), we will pay attention not only to oral communication but also to non-verbal language; we will observe details such as tone of voice, volume, speed of speech, facial and body expressions … In this way, we will have a broader vision of the message they want to convey to us. The idea is to try to go beyond the superficial message they send us.
The practice of deep listening has great therapeutic power for both speakers. This is so because it allows the listener to go through a path free from judgments and full of acceptance, And the listener to silence mental interference and generate a state of calm.
If we change our listening habits to practice mindful listening, we will transform the way we relate to others; leaving aside the superficial mind-spirit interaction to make it a true and deep interaction of human beings communicating from its essence.
Cultivate the conscious listener you carry within and learn to listen for love.