How to make others feel heard and understood

What we experience in our lives is shaped as we process it through the lens of how we feel, what we think, and what we tell ourselves about it. As you can imagine, that can change from minute to minute. Through our experiences we form opinions.

The same is true for others as well.

I read something the other day that inspired me to look at opinions differently, my opinions and the opinions of others.

How difficult would it be to not give your opinion when someone else is telling you theirs? Gasp, right?

What if we listened with our full attention, not thinking about how we’re going to respond, but listening so the other person feels heard. This means not nodding in agreement or disagreement; that’s giving our opinion. This means sitting there taking it all in and getting curious.

This means most of all, understanding what the other person means and why they have the opinion that they do. We must understand from where they are speaking. That’s different than how we have processed it to form our opinion.

Understanding means asking questions so we can understand the other’s point of view. That not only allows them to feel like they’ve been heard but also feel like they were able to contribute. They feel valued.

After we have listened and asked questions, then it is our turn to give our opinion.

This is not an easy skill, but it gives us the opportunity to know what others are thinking and why they think it before we give our opinion.

This is not to change our opinion. It’s so we can deliver our opinion in a compassionate way because we understand where others are coming from.

Imagine how relationships would change if we developed this skill.

Imagine how the world would change.

It starts with us. Are you in?

When we change the world changes.

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  1. Tammy Cantrell on April 16, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    Love this insight! We so often make things about us even if subconsciously. So astute as always! Thank you for sharing and serving Love. xo