If talk is cheap, listening is expensive. I love to listen to heartfelt stories especially from people I love. There’s one whose heart I love hearing above all and that is my sweetie. Tonight, she needed to vent about some things and she gently let me know was what was coming. Her setup helped me to listen the way she wanted to be heard.
When we want help, we want the listener to listen for understanding. We want solutions. However, when we want to vent, solutions is exactly what we do not want. We want to be listened to just for understanding. It’s a subtle difference, but it is the difference between the speaker getting what they want or not. If the speaker owns the topic and doesn’t get what they want, the whole experience is frustrating and irritating. When it works though, it is magical. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when someone focuses on you and truly listens for understanding.
Listening is expensive because it is hard work (hard emotional work) and because it is rare. One last thought. If you want me to listen for understanding, do what Jeanie did. Tell me what you want and, who knows, you might just get it.
Thanks Sweetie. It is an honor to hear your heart.