Let’s face it—we all may not have been the best listeners lately, especially when we are so consumed with what’s going on in our own world. This can stem from an inability to listen, or perhaps it alludes to something deeper–an unwillingness to listen. Instead of listening, we are so stuck on what we think we know rather than what is being presented to us. We want to get our piece in, and we think we know what the other person is going to say before they even say it. This is not a good look! This leaves people feeling misunderstood and embarrassed for sharing parts of themselves, and it makes you look ignorant and arrogant. To prevent this, we have a list of ways you can be a better listener in 2020 before your shadow side comes in and does damage to your relationships.
- Connect to your breath. When you connect to your own breathing, you become more mindful and in touch with yourself. Through breathwork, you connect with yourself on a deeper level, find more clarity, and are then able to be fully present when listening to others. This will help you become free of your ego and your own personal agenda.
- Think about different perspectives. If your mind is on one track, that is a sign that you’re not being a very good listener. It is also self-absorbed to only validate your own point of view. A good way to combat this is to examine all sides of the coin, and fully empathize with the people around you. This helps you connect with the speaker on a deeper level, because you are seeing the circumstance from their point of view and understanding them in a way you would not be able to do had you only been open to your own perspective.
- Do your research. If someone is talking about a subject that you aren’t educated on, don’t speak on it before doing your own research. Spouting ignorance is not being a good listener, it is just talking to hear yourself speak.
- Listen to learn. When you are engaging in a conversation, ask yourself What am I learning from this person? How did they feel about our conversation? What has this new perspective shown me?
- Don’t jump to conclusions. This means not being too quick to know everything. If you jump to conclusions, you aren’t fully listening, you are just projecting your own experiences onto the situation. Instead of doing this, take a step back and call upon your higher self to help you become curious rather than presumptuous.
Becoming a better listener in this challenging time will improve your relationships with others immensely. We are social creatures who crave meaningful connections and the feeling of being understood by others. Do your part and create a world where we are more thoughtful, empathetic, and compassionate towards the people we interact with.
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.