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Listeners Blog

Tag Archives: Self-revelation

Mar
4

There can be many reasons why you feel that you haven’t been truly heard. Perhaps instead of listening, people you talk to insist on giving you advice, or judging you for having an issue. Perhaps you have felt people spend more time thinking about their reply than to what you are saying.

Or perhaps you are having a problem focusing on your real issues. Every time you try to start a meaningful conversation, you get sidetracked into generalities or wind up talking about what’s important to the other person because you talk around what is really bothering you, especially if it is deeply painful. Even the most empathetic listener has a hard time hearing what isn’t said.

Before you ask someone to help you find your inner truth by listening, find a quiet place where you can take some time to think about the major issues you need to resolve. What is causing you the most stress and anxiety? How do you see yourself in the current situation? Are you willing to embrace whatever self-revelations you may find on your journey?

Once you focus your mind, you will be able to focus the conversation on what you need to hear from yourself. The capacity for self-insight, problem solving and growth resides inside you, but only if you are brave enough to confront your real issues and talk them through.

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Feb
19

What if you could see the future or know exactly what other people were thinking? Not many people can do that – it’s an extremely rare and wonderful gift.

Even without clairvoyant powers, however, it’s easy to fall into the emotional traps of mind reading and fortune telling. And rather than enhance your life, these negative mental habits can cause lots of stress and anxiety.

Mind reading is when you jump to conclusions based on how you think other people see you. You assume others have a low opinion of you without any evidence. A conversation stops when you come into the room and you “just know” they were just then saying bad things about you.

Fortune telling leads you to predict the worst possible outcome of any situation. You were nervous during an interview, so you “just know” you won’t get the job, no matter how qualified you are. When you start to act on these assumptions, you can actually create the outcome you were dreading.

The best way to avoid these thinking traps is to talk through your issues with a supportive listener. If you ask yourself out loud why you think people are talking you down behind your back, you’ll probably hear how little sense that makes. If you can share your fears and doubts, they don’t seem so overwhelming and you can find positive ways to avoid your own worst-case scenario.

Find someone who can really hear you and help you put into your own words what is keeping you from finding your inner peace. When you do find it, you’ll know the future looks brighter.

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Jan
17

We all know what it feels like to be ignored: it can be frustrating and even anger provoking. If the situation continues for a long time, we may come to expect to be rejected and stop trying to be heard altogether.

When we close ourselves off from emotional feedback, our self-worth takes a big hit. We can begin to believe our own distorted view of who we are and wind up feeling stressed out, confused, depressed and generally bad about our lives.

That’s when we seem to only focus on the downside, turning away well-deserved praise and unable to handle criticism constructively. It’s hard to find a healthy perspective.

According to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “People are not disturbed by events themselves, but rather by the views they take of them.” It’s up to us to identify the thought patterns that lower self-esteem and do what’s needed to develop a more balanced view of the world and our place in it.

Talking to a supportive listener –someone who will truly hear us without judgment or imposing his or her own views –can be an invaluable first step.

Some experts suggest writing down what upsets us — and chronicling our reactions will help identify underlying causes, but writing is just one approach: a solitary act.

Hearing ourselves talk about a situation in a safe, encouraging environment with someone who is completely focused on what we have to say adds a greater emotional depth to our words. And outcomes can be more tangible with someone to listen to our accomplishments on the journey into self-worth.

Give one of our trained listeners a call and see how good it feels to talk your way to your inner truth.

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Dec
6

Have you ever noticed how much of the imagery around Christmas involves listening?

Think about your favorite Christmas songs and carols. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” “Angels We have Heard on High.” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Then there are all those bells ringing merrily and little drummer boys playing and many, many pipers piping.

So why is one of the most moving of all Christmas songs “Silent Night”? It could be that it captures the essence of engaged listening. After we have heard the message – whether it is a proclamation of a new age of peace on earth from a heavenly host or a conversation with someone who needs to talk through their issues – we need some space for reflection to process it and understand its meaning. The act of listening is powerful, and if we allow ourselves to truly hear, it can change us on a deeply spiritual level.

Take some quiet time to yourself this busy holiday season to reflect on the messages you’ve received this past year. Strive for deep understanding to prepare yourself to be an open and supportive listener in the coming new year.

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Dec
4

When was the last time you had a serious conversation that ended in bad feelings for all parties? What do you remember most – what started the conflict or how it ended? Most of us tend to forget everything but the hurt.

Whether we start out to have a reasonable talk about a minor misunderstanding or a major discussion about a relationship, as soon as one party feels disrespected, meaningful communication is derailed. We may not even realize that we are making the other person feel discounted or diminished, because it is so easy to do, especially around sensitive topics. Then we are left to wonder why the conversation was so frustrating and nonproductive and how we can ever settle anything.

It’s quite possible to misunderstand what your choice of words or tone of voice can convey from another person’s perspective. For example, you may think that approaching a serious subject lightly can help diffuse the tension. But if it sounds like you aren’t taking the topic seriously, doesn’t that mean you are not taking the person seriously either? If someone doesn’t feel they are being taken seriously, there is little reason for them to invest in a conversation; they know they won’t be truly heard.

Developing your listening skills can go a long way in helping resolve conflicts. The first step is to pay attention to how you express yourself. Keep your comments respectful, and ask others to do the same.

If you do hear the conversation getting off track because someone feels disrespected, it’s time to stop and deal with the real issue at hand. Once mutual respect is restored, it will be much easier to resolve whatever conflict started the discussion in the first place. And you will have built a much stronger foundation for really listening to each other in the future.

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Oct
2

“Thinking out loud” is more than a well-worn phrase. How many times have you been in a group where talking about a new idea has sparked the creative process? Once a thought is spoken, it can lead to other thoughts and feelings, not just in a listener but in the speaker as well.

There is also a deeper truth in the idea that sometimes you “can’t hear yourself think.” When you are dealing with life challenges on your own, without being able to express your thoughts, you are less likely to reach a solution. Talking it through really does help, if you have the right person to talk to.

A supportive listener can help you gain clarity surrounding your issues, without coaching or judging or offering advice. The most important aspect of a healing conversation is that you, the speaker, know that you have been truly, deeply, completely heard. That allows you to really listen to yourself – to hear yourself think all the way through to a new life path.

For many people, truly being heard in supportive, non-judgmental way is a new experience. It can bring up powerful emotions; it might even be a little scary. But that’s OK. It’s all part of your journey to self-discovery and healing.

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