Just a while ago, I read a quote from Dr. Joyce Brothers that, “Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.” With an additional sayings from an ancient proverb that says, “A good listener is a silent flatterer.”
Am I a silent flatterer? I don’t actually flatter myself with that. I am good listener, perhaps? But a silent flatterer? Ha, lets talk about that.
When it comes to listening, three things comes to mind: 1. focus and attention; 2. the message and its meaning and; 3. the speaker.
If there’s one thing I want to improve, maybe it’s number one or maybe all of them. God knows that I love to listen. And if I want to understand people’s feelings and views, I need to focus more, lend my ears willingly and enthralled with wonders of the words being relayed. I love to listen to stories that haven’t been aired or been told. It makes me feel connected, understand feelings and emotions, and it gives me more wisdom.
The essence of listening is that when a person talks, every word spoken is part of the person; and as a listener, it is not only your duty to listen but also to appreciate that the speaker is open and humble enough to share her/his stories. Was someone said that the first duty of love is to listen? Indeed. And when it comes to loving someone—-flatter my heart, I am all ears.
Isn’t it amazing that if you have someone to talk to and someone who listens to you, your burden lightens up a little? That’s why prayer is very effective. When you know that God is there and listens to you, you keep on praying and praying until you’re satisfied.
Although, everybody likes to be heard, everyone is different. A friend of mine who were having trouble about her job lately was kind enough to tell that she just like someone who listens to her. Just listen. Be a friend. It’s enough for her. The fact that she’s aware that someone is there and listens to her, her burden seems lifted off her shoulder.
The trouble about listening though is that—other listener can’t wait to speak. Can’t wait to speak up her/his mind. Offer suggestions, give advices, or criticize the person’s personality or judge her/his feelings. It is good to offer advices, but what if the person just want to be heard? Robert Greenleaf once said, “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.”
Yes, you wanted to help but sometimes the best help you can give is to listen. And yes, this is something I need to grow.
“To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.”