Listen and Love

UnknownMany of us have never really learned to listen well. We’ve learned to be selective listeners—sifting information, ignoring details, and allowing ourselves to be distracted by everything around us.

In today’s media-driven world, we’re often living on information overload. We have concerns at work, at home, with the kids, with friends, in our communities, in our nation, and around the world. That breeds distraction, and we have to proactively be careful not to allow the cares of the world to break down our relationships; we have to choose to listen carefully to those we love.

To listen well, you have to be considerate of the other person’s need to communicate with you. That means you have to choose to shut out the distractions around you and engage with that person with your whole being—your eyes, ears, and heart. You need to give him or her your undivided attention.

Sometimes just shutting off the music or muting the television shows interest and respect for the other person and contributes to good communication. Other times, it might take going for a walk together or a drive to get away from the distractions of home.

The truth is, Dale and I still struggle with this. We might be in separate rooms or even on separate floors, but we somehow think that one of us will magically tune in to what the other is saying. Over time we’ve begun to recognize moments that are best suited to talking and sharing and moments that aren’t. We’ve learned that when we’re driving in traffic, it’s hard for us to concentrate on a deep discussion.

Dale knows that when I’m in my writing mode and on the computer, it’s hard for me to listen well or try to have a discussion. We laugh about it. We try to do better. But the reality is that we’re still working on improving our listening skills and changing our tendency to try to communicate when one of us is busy or distracted.

How have you learned to listen well? I’d love to know!

Adapted from The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness. Copyright © 2014, all rights reserved.



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