Fact: Everybody wants to be listened to.
Slow down and take the time to notice someone’s desire for you to just listen to them- it’s your duty.
Check up on someone, but go further and check in (“How are you?”…“are you sure?”); seek for more.
The follow up question tells them that you’re not just asking to pass time but you really are interested.
Some people require you to assure them that they’re not burdening you. You can show them this by seeking for more- initiating and genuinely being interested in what’s going on in the inside.
I personally reach heights of great fulfilment when someone says to me “thank you so much for listening to me”.
A lot of the time, you may not have even given any advice, but the other person’s heart (surprisingly) wasn’t even looking for advice, an answer or a solution- they just wanted to be listened to.
You know what they say (I still wonder who ‘they’ are), “a burden shared is a burden halved”.
Just share the burden; allow someone else to vent and simply take the weight off.
Usually, at the end of a speech/talk, the speaker would say, “thanks for listening”.
Today, don’t rush to respond; let it be about them.. let them do the speaking.. let them ‘thank you for listening’.
Phil 2:4 – “And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own…”
I could literally sit for an hour (or three) with the other person just letting their heart out and I’m there like, “ummm”.
Don’t get me wrong, I am intentionally listening, but I’m not in a rush to give advice or let my thoughts be heard.
You see, it’s not really about me (the listener). That’s an issue some of us have. We’re unconsciously selfish (yeah, I said it)- “what I would do is” …we struggle to let others make it all about them for just a moment.
You needn’t be too quick to share how you’ve been through it all and how terrible it was for you.
Sympathise. Then, empathise.
James 1:19 – “Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak…”
From regularly hearing and observing these statements, “I’m sorry- I feel like I’m talking too much” or “you’re just so good at listening”, I’ve been able to concede that these phrases are spoken simply because no one has truly given them the space to just say everything and anything. No one has given them undivided and uninterrupted attention.
It’s not really our fault though. We all have burdens and struggles of our own that need all of our attention, right?
No. Your problems do not need all of your attention.
Phil 2:4 – “And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own”
You are able to care for yourself and others. In fact, it is your responsibility.
Be loving and selfless enough to take the attention off yourself for just a moment and care to listen to the heartbeat of another.
Someone is hoping that you’d tap them on the shoulder or send them a text and ask if they’re okay.
Someone is looking for someone else they can talk to – someone who will actually just listen.
Will you be that listening ear?
Father, please give me the grace to be as selfless as You are. Help me to realise who needs my help and just needs to be listened to. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Amen.