Understanding Other People Better

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Part Two: Hearing More Clearly

In part one we took a look at how the filters we wear affects our vison and relationship with others. In part two we are going to take a look at the number one hack that improves our ability to hear others more clearly. This is to be a ‘silent’ listener.

To become the ‘silent listener’ we need to know how to create inner stillness and stability. Next time you have a conversation, be the observer of your own mind. How attentive was it? How many comments did it make? What sorts of comments were they? Were they your comments or those of someone else? Alternatively, were you thinking about how to formulate an answer or recalling your last conversation with that person that left a bad feeling? How much time were you just listening?

To hear clearly we need to be able to ‘hear’ the meaning behind the words being spoken or the intention behind someone’s words. To do this this we need a still and attentive mind. To create such a mind we need, first of all, to become aware of all the chatter that is actually going on in our own minds.

Secondly, what is it all about? Be curious, but also non-judgemental. Where is it coming from? Maybe from our own insecurities, a need to prove ourselves or be approved of? Is it learned comments? What is the meaning behind our chatter? Diving beneath the surface of our own chatter enables us to start taking control of our chatter, rather than being victims of it we can become its directors.

To dive beneath the surface of our own chatter takes a leap of courage. Our chatter may even tell us that we can’t change it. However, when we do, we discover our own core values and strengths. We get to know ourselves better. We can then choose to start living our lives more and more in self-alignment. We can choose to change our inner chatter to align with our core values and strengths. Such as, saying to ourselves ‘I am peace,’ is very different from ‘I am not good enough.’ These qualities then start to expand within us, flow into our ‘being’ and into our actions. As for our old chatter, it dies away due to lack of use. This makes our minds naturally stiller and more attentive.

When we stand in our own core values and inner strengths we feel more internally secure, less threatened by different opinions and our capacity for acceptance and non-judgement grows. This enables us to hear others more clearly. We are able to offer them the gift of being present, still and attentive. In return we are able to understand their perspectives and motives, build bridges and create lasting friendships. Our values also create natural boundaries for us, protecting us from being compromised or compromising ourselves.

A very supportive habit to create, in becoming a silent listener, is that of pausing every now and then and becoming still inside. Maybe whilst you wait for a train, for the kettle to boil or you sip a glass of water. Also, before a conversation pause and check what is going on in your mind, remind yourself of your core values and emerge an inner quality you want to bring to the interaction.

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