Listening in Kindness

March 1, 2018

Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing. Song of Songs 8:7

 

At the end of being with a person or a group of people, I review in my mind what I have said and how the person reacted and thought about the exchange. I consider an email two to three times before I send it. Admittedly, I have shot off emails, texts, messages without review. The responses felt like backlashes and were surprising. I thought I was a victim. It was my fault. I do these reviews in business and never thought to carry that practice with my family and friends. I now do that too.

 

I have learned how to evaluate what I have said quickly. I am an extrovert, and that is not always helpful when you are connecting with another person.  Many times ego takes over. I know that I tend to have word vomit and I speak too much. I was not thoughtful of the other person. I forgot to listen with my entire heart and body. Listening is more than just two ears and one mouth. Listening is the most difficult skill to achieve. I am always impressed with people who gauge a person and can empathize with their pain or enjoy their company. My wonderful introverted friends do this so well, and I am learning from them.

 

My review of a conversational exchange: Did I fully listen? Was I fully engaged? Did I remember to ask if that person needed help? Please learn from my mistakes. I have to keep reminding myself listen, listen, listen. I also have to remember to be kind, be kind, be kind.

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