Monday, February 14, 2011

About Love - Listening and Understanding

James 1:19
 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
Understanding, listening , and seeing things from another person's perspective are hard things for me. I find myself often in conversation with someone, and find that instead of listening I am just waiting for my chance to speak, to be heard, and am not really trying to see the other person's point of view. This really bothers me as I want to be an example of understanding, I want to be a good listener, in fact I want to be there, I don't want to be the selfish guy who just wants to talk. What can I do?

1. Affirmation: The Person I am Talking to is the Most Important Person in the World at That Moment
The first thing I do is constantly remind myself of the affirmation, "This person is the most important person in the world" and in that conversation I am going to treat them that way. I am not only going to listen, I am going to pay attention to what they have to say verbally and non verbally and I am going to be sincerely interested because if I am not sincerely interested, I will retreat to my own thoughts and not listen to what they have to say. I learned this technique from my Mom, she taught me a prayer before talking "Dear Lord, please remind me that this person I am talking to is a child of God and my brother or sister in Christ"

2. If it is over the phone - take notes. For real, this is awesome because of the conversation get's off topic you can ask questions about things talked about earlier in the conversation. If I am talking to someone and they reference things earlier in the conversation, I know they care.

3. Get Things off your mind - Taking personal time to meditate, journal, and reflect can help put you in a centered place which will help have a more present frame of mind for a conversation.

4. Be a lifelong learner - There are lots of resources available to help you learn to be an active listener, look into them and always be open to new techniques. This, in itself is an act of love for those around you because learning how to be there, learning how to understand shows that you love others.

5. Ask about feelings. Understanding requires paying attention to more than just the content of a subject, it also requires analysis of the emotional product of the subject. How did an event feel? Learning about the feelings involved shows the speaker that you care about them, not only about the information.

I am not the best listener, in fact I can be an example of the worst but I want to be better and these are just a few tips that I have learned; please share your tips for listening, understanding, and being a more loving person.

My Prayer: 
Father God in Heaven, 
Your commandment to us is to love one another and I thank you for that, I thank you that we are commanded to do something that brings me so much joy and brings joy to others. Please continue to talk through me and help me to show the kind of love you desire. In your ever present Holy name.


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