In these uncertain times, can you imagine people learning to listen to one another? Listening from the heart, not the head, is the key to successful communications. We often simply throw out or yell our opinions at each other, when what we need to be doing is less talking and more listening.
When someone is talking to us, we’re usually thinking about how to respond rather than actively listening. Our heads (with our judgments and opinions and positions, etc.) get in the way of real heartfelt responses.
How to listen with your heart
Most people aren’t used to hearing someone ask them to listen with their hearts-it catches them off guard. In order to discover how listening with the heart works, one must recognize that it is bound to take some time, but the end result will be well worth the effort! Getting our heads out of the way and trusting what our hearts are saying can lead to a new kind of understanding, not only between people of different ethnic backgrounds and social opinions, but also between family members, who can do a lot of yelling at each other.
There is so much self-righteous behavior these days, on both sides of any argument. To make it even worse there is frequently a huge lack of respect for people with a different point of view than our own. So let me introduce again the way to come to terms with heavy-handed opinions.
When confronted with someone of a different persuasion than your own, who might be trying to overwhelm you with opinion:
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH,
- Look them in the eyes
- Set aside judgment for just a moment
- Listen with your heart and your body, not your head
Use this practice, and you will make yourself available to hearing and seeing others in a whole new light. It may not be easy in the beginning, because our natural instinct is to stick up for ourselves and convince people that we know and understand the truth. The danger is if our “truth” is delivered with anger, which can then cause our words to be replaced by more violent words and actions.
We must equip ourselves with the tools to de-escalate and defuse this reactive dynamic.
Now you may be thinking, “how the heck do I listen with my heart”? Try not to over think the idea. The mere consideration of listening with your heart will cause a change to begin to occur unconsciously. So keep considering and see what happens.
Our minds are brilliant processors of concepts and information. Our bodies are superior when it comes to relationships. You can’t “think” your way into a relationship. It has to “feel” right, and those feelings are in our bodies, not our minds.
When you listen from the heart there is:
- Less reaction,
- More time to evaluate
- The ability to appraise the situation more calmly.
- A more grounded and centered response to most encounters
Recognizing and acknowledging another’s truth is a great gift. You’ll be amazed at how it softens you, and improves the bonding in your relationships.
Give it a try and see for yourself!