On the season two opener of my podcast, I had a in depth conversation with my ex-boyfriend about why our relationship ended. The conversation was insightful at times and unnerving during others. All in all, I learned something new about myself during that conversation. The lesson was to “Listen to Understand” and not to respond.
I don’t know too many people, friends or family, who can truly attest to the fact that they listen in this way. If you’re too quiet of a person, then people perceive you as sneaky. If you’re too loud of a person, then people perceive you as aggressive and overbearing. Either way, you’re being perceived as something that you might not even be. Those people never listened to understand who you are.
What I discovered about my listening skills is that I too often listened to judge. I was usually right in every situation or so I told myself. I already had an attitude and had mapped out everything that I would say during a disagreement. I was not listening with my heart and mind, yet with my ears and mouth. I was listening to prove a point! A point that was not even factual.
Our relationship ended for one simple reason. There was a lack of everything. A lack of listening, compromise, understanding, love, connection, etc. Just because he/she/they make you laugh does not mean that it’s meant to be. It could simply mean that the person is funny. THAT’S IT!
In order to truly listen to understand someone, you have to possess empathy and sympathy and place everything you know in a separate bag. Grab a new bag and place all of the new and fresh information in it. Then, use your empathy and sympathy to dissect what you heard and you will be able to understand it differently. I know I did! I learned something about our relationship that I never would have known.