So to hear something - is let’s say a kid crying at the shops, a really loud car racing up the street or birds singing good morning for the day. Now to listen is to absorb and to react. For instance, like a doctor listening to your heartbeat or a siren, you have to hear and listen and make a conscious decision and act.
What is this that we are trying to bring to our forebrain? To always be aware of when a baby cries, we hear it but, do we listen to what the baby is telling us. Any good mum with support from other great loved ones and professionals in her life will generally know what most cries of her baby mean. In most cases yet not all as some are a lot more challenging. However, the meaning of hearing and listening are noticeably clear to the open-minded in this instance.
Now let’s talk about something for the people that do not have kids like myself. A dog barking, we hear the dog barking and if you listen to your dog you would have learned they have different barks. An excited bark at the postman on a bike or a bark for when your dog is excited to get a pat. Or is it one of those barks that makes your hair on the back of your neck stand up, where he or she is warning you to get the hell out or protect yourself in some way?
I know now you are hearing and listening to me but realise that to hear is one thing to listen is another.
Let’s get a little deeper. Your friend is telling you their story and you hear it. Their story reminds you of some familiar story that happened to you. Do you start talking about yourself in the middle of their story being shared?
I'm serious, do you?
Or do you wait until the end and then empathise with their story?
Too many times I listen to people talk and they do not get to the end of their story simply because people do not listen. They hear but do not listen. The person who is telling the story to start with get railroaded by another story and begin to feel not important. They become quiet, introverted or they become reactive, loud, and aggressive because they are sick and tired of not being heard.
And to be truthful I do not blame them. I think we all need to consider each other’s message before putting forward our own hurts, lessons, and experiences.
Please don’t think for a second I do not understand the rude person talking over the top of the person originally telling the story as I have been guilty of this. Only because I get excited and want to show I understand yet in hindsight I have not listened to my friend, client or acquaintance explain to what level of experience they have travelled.
This next share is something I am sure you have all done! If not, you are maybe young or extremely balanced and you are an exceptional soul.
This topic is couple sharing.
You get home from work and you are describing your day, and your partner whether you realise or not is at the max of their shit too.
You start talking about your breaking point. Most of the time you are just sharing to debrief not to make your words gospel, yet your partner starts telling you about their challenging day and somehow it becomes a competition as to who has had the hardest day.
Yeah most of us have done this.
If you guys chat about this now, be kind and aware you will know that one of you at some stage have to take the kind route and let the other have their debrief. Then the other partner will be happy to listen to your bad day, to hug and be on that person’s side. Spoil them that night so they are strong and loved for the next day.
Big, big, big - you both need to hear this -------
Whether you are at home running the fam or at work making the cash, both partners are as important. When one is having their time of debriefing, be aware this only works if you both allow the other to debrief and be heard and looked after. This only happens if you listen, not just hear. Yes, listen, hear and you have to react in a positive manner making it matter.
Last but not least by any manner, listening does not mean that you need to beat or compare the story. As this would be passive, aggressive even though you may be unaware to this behaviour of making your story better. It does not make healthy relations with anyone.
So, at the end of the day, we all have different skills. The labourer, service person, the academic, stay-at-home parent, whatever job, we all have different pressures and different skills yet if we are all using our skills to the max, we each have the same stress.
Karyn and Matthew Webber