“Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.”—Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield.
Each of us go through a lot of stress each day. Most of us start our day early, go to work, and we know each day that we need to get adequate sleep, we need to exercise, probably meet few friends, eat a meal, read, listen to music, make time for family & near and dear ones and how can we forget the need to keep up to date on social media. And there are many days where demands from work could be challenging.
Most of us have a stressful day, which could be good stress or bad stress. However there is a very thin line between good and bad stress. Many times it may be an innocent email or a response from someone or waiting in a traffic jam that sets the trigger for an outburst that is beyond our control. And we complain, we get irritable and that possibly sets a contagion effect on many around us.
But what is the most demanding feeling that most of us go through at a time when we are stressed and feel like we are about to breakdown. To be Listened?
What if at a vulnerable moment someone reached out to you in an act of generosity and listened to you or gave you a hug or volunteered to share your work, wouldn’t we feel nice?
1. Listen- To Listen without judgement, without competing and contributing. Just being there for somebody in heart and soul. True understanding lies in empathizing with the other’s person’s challenge.
I was at the Samaritans pre-selection course last Sunday and during the full day selection procedure, biggest take away for me was that we all can be Samaritans on a daily basis to our near and dear ones, and to our colleagues.
I respect the Samaritans for the service that they run, where they don’t know the caller and yet listen without any contributions or tipping the caller in the wrong way especially the vulnerable ones.
2. Empathize – We can acknowledge what each other is facing by just listening in and making sure that the other party knows that you understand that they are in a tough spot. Basically acknowledge that you hear what they are saying without contributing your opinion.
3. Help Out – Where the situation demands and you think you can help out, offer to help the person out no matter if this person is your spouse, friend or a colleague.
I know it made my day just being at the Samaritans pre-selection program. Think about a day when someone has listened to you and has made you feel good. Act of listening to another person makes the listener feel a sense of happiness.
We all can offer this on a daily basis especially in today’s world where we hide behind Social Media and chats. Let’s not lose the personal touch. The most basic of all human needs is to understand and be understood. The best way to understand someone is to listen.