That was a lesson I learned the hard way.
It took three different friends on three separate occasions explaining this to me to finally understand.
I am not a share-er by nature. So, when I am telling someone something it’s usually because I want to know their opinion, I seek their advice, or I need their help.
I now understand though, that for some people, they enjoy talking, venting, expressing, and they just want someone to listen. Sometimes, they may not have anything to say, they may just want you to be near them, to be present.
Give them your undivided attention, (not the kind that plays candy crush while they talk because you can do two things at once) offer a few moments of your life where they have all your attention, and let them get off their mind or heart whatever they need.
Hearing is inactive, you have no control over it, it’s just the sounds your ears take in. The sounds of traffic, clocks ticking, water dripping, those are things you hear because you have the sense of hearing.
Listening is active, it’s intentional, it’s done consciously. When you choose to help by listening, pay attention, listen to what they’re saying, what they’re not saying, and let them know you are there and that their voice is being heard.
Don’t just hear, listen.