It is rare to find people who are more interested in others and what they have to say rather than their own story. I know I have all too often listened to someone talk only to interrupt or find something to chime in with for the sake of feeling a part of the conversation.
While the idea of conversation is to have two or more people chatting about their experiences and finding common ground with each other or sharing differences, one of the most important aspects is the part where we listen. But I fear we have lost the art of listening. And in this digital age, it is easier to be distracted, rather than enjoy the present with people face-to-face. Have you ever been hanging out with someone who is constantly looking on their phone? I am sad to say I have been the one looking on my phone, missing out on the opportunity of real interaction.
I decided a while ago to be committed to the idea of giving more of myself to the present and having an outward focus. I wanted to give more into the interactions I have with my friends, family, my daughter, my husband. Instead of just giving words, I would give understanding, I would give my time to just listen and be interested in what they have to say. I wanted to care more about what is going on for them rather than my own agenda. I wanted to be the one asking the questions, rather than always answering theirs.
This has been a hard commitment to keep, but worth it when I get it right. I still blurt out into my own story when someone hasn't even finished talking. I still catch myself listening to other's only to find a point of injection! But when I just sit, and listen and take my time to respond because I am thinking of them more than me, it has produced beautiful, genuine connection and moments of interaction that you can't fabricate through Facebook or text messages.
Let go of the need to be right, and give someone space to voice their opinion. Let go of the spotlight and give someone else your full attention. Let go of your agenda and give of your time to listen. Let go of hasty interruptions and give a genuine and thoughtful response. Let go of counting the 'likes' on your Instagram post, and pause, soak in the moment with someone right in front of you, give them your best. Let go of trying to impress, or appear cool... Give the same energy to those around you as you would someone you consider important; look outward, you might just be surprised by the beauty you find.
Love Heids Xx