In listening


We listen everyday – to the news, to music, to random, sometimes unwanted noise. We have to listen to others in order to properly communicate, and get by our daily lives. We listen to our friends, to our family, to our colleagues, helpers, children, teachers, the list goes on. Ultimately, in as much as we cannot live our lives without listening, it is also something we tend to take for granted, and underestimate the weight of. I was recently reminded of what a gift sometimes just listening to someone can be, and have now taken it upon myself to try and make more of a conscious effort to do so more.

I recently had lunch with a good friend who I have gotten quite close to this past year despite some language barrier and differences. She is one of the main reasons I am able to improve my Spanish on a daily basis, and one of the main reasons for me to do so. The last time we caught up with each other, she was talking to me about something she is going through at the moment, forgetting at some point that I may or may not be comprehending fully simply because of the pace of her dialogue, and the depth of the vocabulary. Instead of interrupting her, I felt the urge to just sit there and really listen, to try and make the most out of what she was trying to tell me. At the end of what she herself called a “rant,” was only when she realized that while the unintentional monologue may have overwhelmed me, just having me there physically to listen and acknowledge her sentiments took a huge burden off her chest, and gave her an instant breather.

It was then that I realized what a gift being a listener to someone who just needs to really let a load off their chest can be. In as much as we sometimes want, and are heavily impulse to offer our advice, thoughts, and opinions, it might not actually be what the other person needs at that very moment.

Unloading, and being able to speak without interruption and judgment can do more wonders than we tend to give it credit for, and more often than not, unless we are explicitly asked, some people do not always cherish our two cents worth. A lot of the times, many are not looking for unsolicited advice, but rather, for an ear to undiscerningly listen to their heartaches, crises, and very sentiments. It is what all of us need to clear the mind, in order to pave the way to resolve.

Lend an ear, and listen. Your physical presence, and the sheer time that you are willing to share with someone who needs your presence is a gift in itself. In as much as it is sometimes tempting to cut the other person off and share your thoughts, hold it in, and remind yourself that you are in a privileged position not only of trust, but also to be on the side that is listening, rather than venting.

Trust me. You will thank yourself when the day comes that you also need an ear to listen to you.