We’ve all been there; that moment where our friend or loved one or mother is talking to you, and you get excited by what they’re saying and accidentally butt in with your own thoughts before they’re done. It’s happens to all of us. Well, help is on the way! A therapist has explained how to really listen to someone, and we are ALL EARS.
According to Vanessa Marin, a certified couple’s therapist, it’s all about getting to the point of the conversation in a respectful way. People aren’t actively trying to interrupt or be rude, they’re just curious; they want to help and be involved.
“We can be so desperate to get to that moment of connection that we often end up cutting the other person off prematurely. I see a lot of jumping to conclusions; or the speaker is halfway through the sentence, and you’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, I got it, I got it, I know where you’re going already.'” We can relate to this, especially thinking about convos we have with our besties — whose sentences we want to finish!
She adds that there are times when we might THINK we’re listening really well, but we’re actually just planning an amazing response to add new layers to the conversation. Yeah, we’re all guilty of that from time to time.
But the solution to listening well is very simple; Marin suggests that we should all slow down in order to “really let the other person get their full thought out before responding.” Okay, we can do that!
She also emphasizes the importance of asking questions and paying attention to tone and body language when others are talking, because that shows that you’re actively listening and participating in the conversation.
Marin goes on to acknowledge that listening is a rare skill that requires effort, so don’t worry if it takes a while to improve. We can think of one thing that will help instantly, though, and that’s not using your phone while you’re talking to someone. No texting, no scrolling through Instagram. Nada!
Here’s to being present with the people we care about — and really listening!