THE ART OF LISTENING
It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Hello friends forgive my absence I’ve had to deal with a lot lately; but am back and i would love to talk about “Listening” i tagged this write up “The Art Of Listening cos i truly believe listening is an art. let be start by stating that “Hearing”is different from “Listening”. Hearing is the process of perceiving sound produced by any sound source in the environment while listening is the process of deriving meaning from organized sounds. Listening is also more complicated and entailing than hearing. bottom line the difference between these two is “Attention”. Listening is a skill — one that is capable of being not only honed, but lost. No wonder listening is an undervalued art. Research shows that we speak at a rate of about 125 words per minute, yet we have the capacity to listen to approximately 400 words per minute. So what are we doing with that extra space in our minds when someone else is talking? Are we really listening?
–To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words.
Listening is essential to fulfilling relationships. If you are experiencing challenging interactions or you want your connections to deepen, reflect on how you can improve your listening skills. Here are some benefits of truly listening:
- People will feel be more drawn to you; they will like you more.
- You will learn something new.
- You will solve problems more effectively.
- You will experience less loneliness and frustration.
- You will feel happier and more relaxed.
Learn to listen well, and watch all your relationships thrive. Here’s how.
—The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
#ArtOfListening — Ralph Nichols
1. Pay attention
Since our brains have the capacity to process 275 more words per minute than are actually spoken, we tend to fill up the void with extraneous thoughts. Notice how when someone is speaking, you are partially listening, while simultaneously planning the rest of your day, replaying a meeting that just occurred, or deciding what you will say next. Paying attention is the cardinal rule for good listening. Hear the words, and let their meaning in. If your mind wanders, simply re-focus your attention on the conversation.
—We have to listen to each other, even when we don’t agree.
2. Be receptive
If you show up with an agenda, you are not going to be available to fully hear what the other person is saying. There is no problem with having goals for an interaction, but let them go while the other person is speaking so you can hear what is being expressed. Balance your need for a given outcome with your desire to sustain a harmonious relationship.
—One who cares is one who listens. —
3. Check your understanding
Make sure you can repeat what you just heard, and if you can’t, ask for clarification. You might be surprised at how much you are missing. Most people are. When you think you’ve gotten it, you might say, “So what you are saying is….” to verify your understanding.
— Secret of success,lies in d ability to get the other person’s point of view & see things from his angle as well as yours
4. Be an explorer
Explorers are open and curious. They are inquisitive, without knowing what they will find. So what to do with all of that excess brain power? Focus on the speaker. Notice body language, tone of voice, and rate of speaking. Then look beneath the words to see what feelings and needs are being communicated. You never know what you might find.
— The golden rule of friendship is to listen to others as you would have them listen to you.
5. Show interest
If you find yourself bored and distracted, reconnect with the interaction. Maintain eye contact, uncross your arms, and ask questions that take the conversation deeper. Find out what really matters to the person you are speaking with.
— Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning.
6. Be patient
As much as you may be tempted, don’t speak over someone who is talking. When you feel the urge to step in, take a breath, let your agenda go, and continue to listen. If you need to move the conversation along, do so politely, as in, “Excuse me, I’m so sorry for interrupting, but ….” Likewise, be careful not to jump to conclusions or assume you know what hasn’t yet been said. These are all signs that your inner explorer has fallen asleep. Revitalize your experience by paying attention to what is happening in the moment.
— Listening is a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.
7. Get out of a rut
Have you ever had the same problematic conversation with someone over and over? Bring a fresh perspective to the relationship by redoubling your efforts to listen. Let go of your need to be right or your ideas about what the other person should be saying or doing, and hear them as if for the first time. This moves you from contraction and limit to possibility and potential simply by listening.
— One person who is truly understanding, and takes the trouble to listen to us,can change our whole outlook on the world.
#ArtOfListening — Dr. E. H. Mayo
Effective listening develops empathy, which is the capacity for a deep understanding of another’s experience. And isn’t that what it takes for a relationship to thrive? It’s as simple as paying attention.
— We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.
Here are some suggestions for developing your listening skills:
- Develop the desire to listen. You must accept the fact that listening to others is your strongest weapon. Given the opportunity, the other person will tell you everything you need to know. If this doesn’t create desire, I don’t know what will.
- Always let the other person do most of the talking.This is a simple matter of mathematics. I suggest a 70/30 rule. You listen 70% of the time and you talk 30% of the time.
- Don’t interrupt. There is always the temptation to interrupt so you can tell the other person something you think is vitally important. It isn’t, so don’t. When you are about to speak, ask yourself if it is really necessary.
- Learn active listening. It’s not enough that you’re listening to someone – you want to be sure that they know you’re listening. Active listening is the art of communicating to the other person that you’re hearing their every word.
- Ask for clarification if needed. This will clear up any misunderstanding you have.
- Get used to ‘listening’ for nonverbal messages – body language. The other person may be communicating with you via body language. You need to decode the message.
- Ask a question…then shut up. This is a foolproof way to listen. Think of yourself as an interviewer – Barbara Walters! She listens and questions – so should you.
A good listener tries to understand what is being said first; he/she may disagree, but at least he/she knows exactly what they are disagreeing with.
Tips For Asking Questions
Once you have learned how to keep yourself from speaking, the art of asking questions is the shortcut to effective listening. Here are some tips for asking questions:
- Ask open-ended questions. Questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. “How could we do this?” “What do you think?” Your objective is to get them to talk as much as possible.
- Don’t ask questions that put them on the defensive. For example, “Why?” is intimidating. Don’t ask “why?” Ask “how come?”
- Ask “What if?” What if we did it this way?
- Ask for their advice. “What would you suggest we do to resolve this?” Everyone loves to be asked for advice.
- Offer alternatives. “Which way would you prefer?” This demonstrates your respect for the other person.
- Ask about their feelings. “How do you feel about this?” People love to have their feelings validated.
- Repeat back what they said. “Let me be sure I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying that…?” This technique will prevent misunderstandings and convince them that you really are listening.
—Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. —
WHO IS THAT SPECIAL PERSON?
Sometimes, when I hear the sound of a car slowing down am tempted to peek and check is that for me could someone have thought of me and even driven down just to check on me? I get excited at the thought, but as always the car slowing down to a halt is not for me…..thinking about it now I feel pathetic but that’s really how I feel, having to put up a strong face can be tiring but I have gone from putting up a strong face to really being strong……it’s just that in moments of loneliness you wish you had that special someone……I thought I had found my special some one quite recently…..a part of me screamed “the search is over he is here”….there was peace a very relaxing calm peace that I just can’t explain but it was there and it was quite reassuring…..it’s the reason I held on….for so long….only to have that door slammed ruthlessly in my face…….wow!!! Life is a very long journey with a lot of displeasing and uncomfortable turns……then, when Isaac Samuel Adekunle was in my life the sound of the car coming to a halt by my window was for me….and his visits would make the evenings feel complete and perfect….we would talk and laugh and feel good sharing our challenges …..at least that’s what it felt like for me…….sigh!!! I enjoyed it ….In fact I secretly wished it would never end…..but, it was never meant to be; for the one who led me on like we were something really special ….had other plans he had someone else on the side …..Someone he planned to marry…..and did not tell me until the day of the marriage……it still baffles me though. where did he find the time for her-he spent everyday with me…..where and how did she come into the picture….or was she always there and I was so stupid and naive not to have noticed?
…..I still remember how hard it was to breath when my phone beeped and full of excitement on seeing his name across my screen of my mobile phone…. I open the text message and the message read…. You did not congratulate me……. Today is my TRAD…….(Trad is short for traditional marriage)….I never thought an involuntary action such as breathing could become such a big laborious task. I had to struggle to get the right amount of air into my lungs cause it felt like my system was shutting down and from the corner of my eyes darkness was creeping in……I steadied myself holding on to the counter in the kitchen saying it was a joke….”I just spoke to him two days ago we spoke for almost an hour, he said nothing about a trad…..it cant be what I think it is, he probably meant to say he was at a trad and it was a typo”……I tried calling, but he wouldn’t pick up and then my phone beeps again……another message ……”I can’t talk now”…….confusion pretty much set in at this point in my already muddled up mind……so I asked the dreaded question in the form of a text I said to him ….”Are you saying today is your traditional wedding?” To which he answered simply……”yes!” Then, he tries to make it light by saying he told me….which just threw me off the edge because right now another lie is not what I need ….then my brother sees traditional wedding photos on his blackberry phone……..that cleared all my doubts “so it true my supposed special person went on with someone else……I wasn’t special after all. I was just statistics to him”…..that hurt even more……I felt hurt, broken and betrayed on top of everything…..he wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be. I asked myself over and over was there ever a sign? Did I overlook something? Well, now that I have had time to think about it….yes I over looked a few important things……
1- First, never give people a clean slate when first you meet them, they all have a past and you cannot go on with them like they never did….their stories give you an inkling into the kind of person you are about to let into you life.
2- Don’t be in a rush to get too familiar, most of the time when we get too comfortable we get blind sided to a lot of warning signs….which reveal themselves with time.
3- Note that, his action and his words are two different things….in a man’s world words are a strong indication of his true intentions……if he does not verbally define what you both have don’t assume it’s anything…..make sure you hear him say it….no matter how shy a man is……if his into you he will state it….although there are some of them who need a lil push…for e.g. The idea of a man about to loose a woman that he holds dear….would make him brace up and state his claim….if he doesn’t then he probably was never going to…. So why waste more time hanging around him.
4- When a guy starts hanging around you a lot without stating his intentions…..make it clear to him that you don’t spend that much time with people who are in the friend category…. And that your time is reserved for someone a lot more special. So it either he Admits he want to fill the position of the special man In Your life or he gets going.
5- A man who is into you does not need an excuse to see you; he would talk with you and come see you because he just can’t have a enough. No man is ever to busy for a woman he is crazy about….especially when you’re still at the wooing stage.
6- Realize your self worth! If so many women understood that they are nobody’s door mat and cannot and will not be treated as one ….there would be less broken hearts…..so many men have taken women for a ride because women do not have an idea of their self worth……..listen to the story of any happily married woman she would say something like “he treats me with respect”……”he treats me like a queen.” basically their husbands make them feel good with themselves……if your man makes you feel less than yourself and you let him, then honey you need to quickly do some self re-evaluation. KNOW YOUR WORTH!!!
7- And Lastly, but very important wait for God‘s instruction before you move him up from the friend category, because it’s is important that what you are about to start is God approved……I mean think of it why would you start a journey if you know that you are not going to get to your destination…….why would you give him your heart if he has no intentions of holding unto it for the rest of his life? Plus to hear God’s instruction in the first place you have to first be his friend…..don’t treat him like a D.O.G you would visit once in a while…..but like a G.O.D who longs for your companionship……..treat him the way you want that special person you’re waiting for to treat to you………my new phrase…..”If you’re about God’s work, God is going to be about YOU!
Note from Writer
Hi guys, I decided to put this out there because a lot of ladies have confided in me about nasty break ups, and then they move to throw themselves a pity party, next stop “SHE BECOMES A MAN HATER!” sigh!!! Agreed, we have some down right nasty brothers out there, but ladies, you can’t completely put the blame on their door step. I saw a phrase a while back it said “A man’s lack of commitment is because there is a lack of necessity to commit from the woman.” ladies you need to realize that you should require a man to state where your relationship is heading, because if you are in a relationship where you don’t know the direction, you can loose yourself and get hurt. Another issue worth mentioning … Ladies when a man says you guys are just friends he means you are just friend and nothing more. Quit having a relationship with him in your head; you’ll only hurt yourself. If you treat yourself as a prized being he’ll treat you accordingly; don’t leave your heart or body carelessly. Guard your heart, your time, your information. Don’t in your minds eye go ahead and put someone in your future that is not committed to you, that is just recipe for more heart breaks. So ladies its time to wise up, realize your worth, take responsibility for your wellbeing; and lastly, you attract people to you when you look like you are having a good time. So go out there and live LIFE!!!
SINGLE, HAPPY AND SATISFIED
How can you be single and be satisfied?
Breakups are hard on everyone — but after the initial pain and sorrow passes you will find that flying solo isn’t that bad. In fact it can be downright fun….shocked? I felt the same way until I started experiencing it myself, so am here to tell you that it is possible to be SINGLE, HAPPY AND SATISFIED!!!
But of course like anything else there are steps to take….I’ll start by stating you need to, First proactively decide that you want to be happy, you’re not going to be a happy married person if you are not a happy single person.
So, Whether you’ve just been dumped, or you’ve decided to end your current relationship, there are a few things you need to remember to make the most out of being single. Even if it wasn’t your choice to be back in the world of single living, the only thing you can really do is embrace it. So here are some things you need to memorize and put into action in your life to enjoy and embrace being single
TIPS TO BEING SINGLE, HAPPY AND SATISFIED
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than a single man or woman who is consumed with unhappiness. Not everyone can be happy all of the time—it s impossible. But when negativity takes over your life, there’s something wrong.
Stay positive about your single status. It’s not going to last forever. In fact, how long you stay single is mostly up to you. If you’re wallowing in negative thoughts, you won’t have your eyes open when someone special comes around.
If you can’t seem to see the sunny side of life, no matter how hard you try, try a little harder. If you still can’t embrace a little positivity, it might be time to talk to someone.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
You have to take a little time to take care of yourself: both physically and emotionally. Remember to take care of your body. Keep yourself in the best shape you can be in, buy yourself a new outfit or a pair of shoes, get a haircut, freshen yourself up— you’re single, take care of yourself and feel good.
On the emotional side of things, remember to exercise your mind and your emotions. Read a book, something that makes you feel happy for me that would be a good movie…lol! You can also try keeping a journal to record how you feel on a day to day basis. Try something new.
KEEP LIFE EXCITING
Don’t find yourself in a rut. Keep the excitement flowing through your veins. For some people, it’s as simple as walking home from work a different way. For others, it’s going on an adventure: rock-climbing (which I tried by the way and it’s totally awesome) you can go site seeing basically go for what excites you.
Singles, especially people who have recently joined the ranks of the single community, need to shake things up. Try to get out there and experience new things in relation to the dating world: That means you can go out on a couple of date nights with some friends. if you’ve never taken an arts and craft class, if you’ve never gone dancing…you get the point. Get out there. Make sure you have sparks in your life!
Life is about change. Your life has recently changed, in a big way. You are no longer someone’s other half (and maybe you never really were). Things change; it’s life. But don’t obsess about the change.
If you find yourself saying your ex-partner’s name every three words, or if you can see your friends begin to roll their eyes when you talk about what life was like before the break-up, then you’re probably obsessing. If you keep comparing every one you meet to your old surpposed Mr. or Ms. Right, then you’re probably obsessing.
If you keep on obsessing, you won’t be ready when someone new comes along and you’ll probably drive your friends and family crazy in the process! Watch it!!!
Being single is about having fun as much as it’s about complaining about being single and being insanely jealous of all the other couples you know. Start up a singles night with your single friends where you do something exciting every week, even if it’s just switching to a new hang out spot. Keep fun in your heart and you’ll enjoy your single days for how ever long they might happen to last!
LEARN HOW TO BE SINGLE
It can be tough to remember how to be single, especially if you’ve been coupled-up for a good long while. Learning how to be single again can be tough, but if you follow a few simple rules to enjoying the single life, you’ll be smiling. And then…eventually, you won’t be so single anymore. But don’t be in a huge rush. Being single can be tons of fun! take your time and enjoy it.
MYTHS OF BEING SINGLE
Myth -Singleness equals loneliness.
This is simply not the case. The only single people who claim to be lonely are those who choose to be lonely. One of the reasons why singleness seems so scary is because of the term itself: Single. It has almost become a swear word in today’s society. It creates the image of a lone person, going through life with no friends and no family. Is this what you think of when you hear the word “single?”. “Being single” only means the lack of a marriage or dating partner. To call yourself lonely when all you lack is one person in your life is irrational. A lonely single is actually a selfish single because their focus is on themselves instead of on others.
Myth -A relationship will help me feel better about myself.
A relationship is not an insurance policy for happiness, satisfaction, or fulfillment. A relationship will not magically solve or cover up your problems. Forget about all the perfect-couple images painted by the media. Relationships actually magnify existing problems and create new ones. Part of being in a relationship is learning how to solve problems. If you can’t solve problems on your own, you won’t be able to do so with someone else.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, then you need to work on that before seeking a relationship, as people generally don’t look for someone with low self-esteem. One of the key points that I state here several times is that you must be happy with yourself first. The purpose of entering into a relationship is to share yourself with another person; not to try to get from someone else what you feel lacks in yourself. Relationships (romantic and other) can’t be all “take” – you have to give as well. Expecting someone else to fill your voids usually results in disappointment, a sense of failure, and resentment. The way you feel about yourself is apparent to others, and if you seek a relationship hoping that the other person will somehow improve you, you will actually end up driving that person away. You have to be happy with yourself before you can expect to get along with others. If you believe that you cannot be happy on your own, you will be less confident and more dependent on others for your happiness.
If you feel trapped by singleness and are looking for someone to rescue you, then you need to first work on becoming content as a single person and gaining more confidence in yourself. Become successful as a single first before worrying about success in relationships. If you’re not content with being single, then you probably won’t be content with a relationship either. Don’t make your happiness dependent on whether you are in a relationship or not. Life is too short to spend a majority of it feeling depressed over something within your control. You already have the key to unlock the singleness trap. You just have to choose to use it. You just have to decide to be happy….Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
Myth – If I’m single and can’t find anyone, it means something is wrong with me, or that I’m a failure.
Being single can be very unsettling and can certainly make people ask themselves, “Is there something wrong with me?” The answer is a big NO. Every one of us has something wrong with them. Nobody on this planet is perfect.
Failing at something does not make you a failure. Regardless of how many times you have attempted and failed, it does not mean anything is wrong with you. It simply means that there are changes that need to be made. However, you should try to look at what you have done and make an effort to change what you know isn’t working. Use this time to take an inventory of yourself and see if there are any personal areas you think you could improve in.
Myth -Being single is unacceptable and I must be in a committed relationship as soon as possible.
You might think that committed relationships and marriage are the ideal lifestyle, but it’s not the only lifestyle. If you believe that being single is unacceptable, then you will end up seeking relationships just because you want one, because “it’s the thing to do”, or because “everyone’s doing it.” a young lady once said to me when i asked her why would she want to get get married and she said boldly to me “Because society expects it of me….” Wow! Now, that answer caught me of guard but if like this young lady, you want to jump into marriage because of what someone else thinks? I would say you need to learn to be your own person and do your thinking for yourself plus this often leads to unhealthy relationships, unnecessary stress, a worsened self-image, and emotional burnout. You are your own person. Your decisions should not be based on what everyone else is doing. Remember the saying “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you…”?
Bottom line: Being single is not unacceptable by any means. What’s unacceptable is seeking a relationship for the sole purpose of having one. It’s also selfish.
Myth – Singleness is meant to be a “waiting period” for finding the right person.
This may be true for some, but it’s not an across-the-board fact. If this is made the main focus of singleness, it actually becomes overwhelming. You may have heard the term “waiting for the ship to come in.” That creates the fallacy that one day, you will find that special person and then your life will suddenly become meaningful. The idea of “waiting” can give you the false impression that something is missing. This can have a serious negative impact on your life. You may put off certain plans and aspects of your life until you happen to meet someone. As time goes on, you’ll realize that you have been wasting your life away. It may get to the point where your only goal in life is to find someone, and you’ll find yourself feeling unmotivated to take care of other things. Don’t put your life on hold just because you are single. You are the only one that decides how you will live your life. You can make the most of it, or you can let it waste away; it’s your choice. None of us knows what is going to happen in the future, and if you are presently single, this is a time of opportunity for you. Your singleness is what you make of it. It can be a good experience if you want it to be. So, instead of wasting time just waiting around for the “right one”, use your time as a single to get to know the person that is responsible for making you happy – that’s you.
Myth – Accepting singleness is giving up or admitting defeat.
Accepting singleness is not a defeat; it’s a victory. Despite the way it sounds, accepting singleness does not mean resigning the rest of your life to an unhappy state of being single. Accepting singleness means that you have conquered your fears and anxieties about being single. It shows that you do not buy into the myths and stereotypes about being single. It is not easy to accept singleness and many people think they can’t do it, or will even refuse to do it. When you accept singleness, you are declaring that you are strong enough to do life on your own, and that you don’t need another person for a crutch. It shows that you are independent. Accepting singleness means you can resist the constant feeling of needing to be a part of a couple, regardless of the influences around you. You are making the most of this time in your life instead of wasting time in unnecessary despair. Lastly, and most importantly, it means that you are happy with who you are. Which is a very important aspect to discovering yourself.
Myth – There are no advantages to being single.
Okay! I know this might be a tired old cliché but, the saying “every cloud has a silver lining” applies here. Remember that there are two sides to being single. As I mentioned earlier, it’s easy to focus exclusively on the negative aspects of being single. This can lead us to the false notion that there are no advantages to being single. The fact of the matter is that there are advantages to being single…..these advantages may include more freedom to do what you want, when you want and with whomever you want….so why don’t you write down all the advantages you can think of to being single. And whenever you start to feel down you can refer to this list.
I will wrap it all up by saying: singles please don’t put your life on hold, go out there and get a life…….and, please quit idolizing the institution of marriage……..marriage is the right thing when you meet the right person that you want to wake with everyday.
Just have a blast…….
We can’t allow the waiting waste our time just like we cant allow the wrong man /woman to waste our time, so you have to live life to the fullest because Christ said “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10v10) And he didn’t say have it more abundantly after you get married did he? he said have it more abundantly period!
So singles, go on that cruise now!
Buy that piece of jewelry now!
Buy that car now!
Buy that house now!
Handle your finances now!
Don’t wait! Particularly to my sisters, don’t wait for a prince charming to come along and rescue you. He might come with more baggage and maybe a tired old horse and a rusty armor (looooool!!!)
And, if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s the external pressures that become more unbearable than the internal pressure…right?
So singles while you’re waiting have a blast…… And ensure you serve those that are available to be served and love those that are available to be loved.
Single people are very significant. And don’t let anyone tell you different. I hope you become what you want to attract.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to. Prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29v11
“STAY SINGLE, HAPPY AND SATISFIED!!!”