Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 52 - Disappointed and Active Listening

What makes disappointment easier? When do we learn somewhere along the way that it's not ok to be disappointed? That "she'll be right" or "it wasn't meant to be" or "maybe next time" or "it'll all work out"? 

I know I have spoke about this previously, but being disappointed is ok and a part of life. You know really what being disappointed means? Is that you wanted something so so so bad. And that's a good thing! Remember what I talked about yesterday? About success? If you focus on what you really want, you will have disappointments along the way, before you get there. 

How are we allowed to feel disappointed without being judged or forced to focus on the positive? The only way I can see that works is to sit with it. Be ok with feeling disappointed. Tell the people around you that "I'm disappointed, I know that everything will turn out ok, but right now I just need to be disappointed". How would you react if someone asked that of you? Probably affronted. We all have our 'go to' saying..."don't worry" or "you're ok". Which for the most part are said with love and are ok to hear in most cases. But sometimes it's all too much. You really need someone to say "that's crap" or better yet, pat you on the shoulder so you know they are there and then be quiet. 

How hard is it to do that when someone you love is hurting, or disappointed? Active listening is a fantastic skill, that unfortunately most people don't have it. What is active listening? It is listening to what someone is saying actively - of course!! Paying attention to what someone is really telling you, providing eye contact, and open body language, and a non-judgemental ear. When you are really truly listening to someone you can repeat what they are talking about directly back. Not thinking about a response, how you may have been or going through something similar or simply on whats for dinner. 

You can tell when someone is not really listening to you - the glazed eyes, or looking past you or on a tv or watching someone else, fidgeting, or interrupting you. The other thing a lot of people do is nod! They nod as a sign that they are listening - but in my experience if you asked them what you were saying and how you actually feel they wouldn't grasp it. If they are awesome at multi-tasking, they may be able to repeat what you said - but not understand the reason behind what you are saying. 

Does this all make sense? If you want someone to actively listen, set both of you up for a win - do it at a time when there are less distraction, tell them that you just want to talk and are not asking for any opinions and go in with an open mind - if you want someone to actively listen to you - you need to be prepared to do it back. If after your chat you don't think you can - say can we talk tomorrow. It is better for both of you for you to be fresh and be able to actively listen, rather than thinking about how your chat went etc. 

Now it's time to practice. Catch yourself when you are talking to someone - do you randomly nod at them while thinking about what you need to get at the shops? Do you stare at them vaguely and not really hear what they are saying? Do you jump in with your personal experiences in a similar situation? 

Phew, big topic!

...Until Tomorrow xox

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