Many of us walk around unconscious, without seeing, and without hearing.
I asked my current batch of trainee Samaritan volunteers what they’ve noticed in their daily life, now that they’ve had training on active listening.
Many started picking up on how unconsciously judgemental people can be, in the words they use during interactions that can very quickly shut down any opportunity for a deeper conversation about things that really matter.
There’s a natural tendency to want to help, but this may make it difficult for us to really listen as we try to offer suggestions, advice, guidance – often, unasked for.
At our core, I believe that our fundamental human need is to be seen, to be understood, to be heard.
That makes us all feel like we matter.
When other’s don’t listen, it very quickly makes us feel very worthless.
Many of us have insecurities, and we go about our lives trying to prove to others, and to ourselves, that we are not worthless.
In this state, we are not helpful to others – who are in the same situation.
Stop worrying about yourself, about how you aren’t good enough.
Instead, just listen.
Listen to your friend/family/stranger who is quietly in distress.
See them for who they are.
See the pain they carry.
When we touch another human being, it helps us be whole.
And that’s the way we fix ourselves.