Updated: May 6
Have you ever been told that "you don't listen" or "you never listen"?
Listening is a big part of communication and yet it is hard for lots of people to actually do. We all have our view points, opinions and things we want to say. It is too easy for us to speak above the other party in in the conversation. It is too easy for us to speak without giving the other person or people a chance to speak and not listen to what they have to say.
As we near the Christmas season we are normally surrounded by friends and family as well as coworkers and people we normally do not spend much time with on a regular basis. We all, for the most part, attend family gatherings, work parties, school functions and such. When people are involved then there is a chance for communication, and where imperfect people are involved there is a chance for people to miscommunicate and neglect the form of listening that people tend to forget about in their own selfish ways.
Listening in an earnest fashion where you honestly care about what the other person(s) has to say is a skill that is learned, and not many people are proficient at. When you do not listen, a person can tell if you are not listening and it is upsetting and frustrating. It can make a person angry even that you have deemed them not important enough to pay attention to what they are saying.
When two people are upset with each other they can get very selfish with their communication and not listen to the other person. However this is unhealthy for any relationship. I myself have been on both sides of this as the aggressor and the one wishing i would be heard. It is not a good way to communicate nor is it a good way to build or keep a healthy loving relationship whether it is a friendship, romantic relationship, or a work relationship. I had to learn how to listen properly before I could consider myself a good communicator. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" James 1:19 KJV
It is always best to slow down and just be kind. Listening to each person will not only make a better conversation it will cause that person to appreciate what you have to say and be grateful for the fact that you allow them the chance to also speak. No one likes when one person dominates the conversation and is not given the chance to speak or if they are the other person doesn't listen but it just goes in one ear and out the other. Listening can cause learning and understanding of something or of someone's desires and intentions. A true desire to learn and understand someone is a wonderful way to fellowship and just build a wonderful positive relationship. "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:" Proverbs 1:5 KJV
When you are trying to learn something or need advice, listen and do not throw the advice to the wind. Heed the advice of those above you and more wise. Parents, pastors, teachers, etc. are generally good people with wisdom from life experience you should listen to. Of course this just a short list but when you ask someone for help, listen and take in account if they are looking out for your best interest and know what they are talking about. "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end." Proverbs 19:20 KJV
Now during this time of year and year round, try to learn patience and better listening skills. You will learn that as you begin listening more, your relationships will get better. Think about school, do you learn from always speaking your mind or do you learn from listening to your teacher? Growing this skill will not only improve your relationships, but also your view on life.
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