If we listen with sincerity to other people’s stories, they will be pleased and grateful..
We live in relationship with various people day by day, and that means necessarily living in different sorts of relationships.
Most of our problems dan sorrows nowadays spring from difficulties in such relationships.
These various problems relating to our relationships have a common source, namely, the inability to understand the other person’s feeling.
Not understanding how the other person feels, we unintentionally say or do things that the other finds unpleasant, and quarrel begins.
Not knowing what the other person may be thinking, we worry that he or she dislikes us.
Not understanding what the other person seeking, things we do for his or her sake may have a negative impact and end by hurting that person.
We seldom say or do awful things to someone intentionally.
Almost always we injure or annoy the other person without realizing it.
Thus, if we can come to know the other person’s true feeling, we can take care to avoid unnecessary trouble by saying to ourselves:
- “I’d better not say that at this particular moment”,
- “He seems very sensitive about his matter, so i’d better not touch on it.”
Well then, how can we come to know the other’s true feelings?
— It’s matter of listening attentively to what the other person has to say.
Most of us don’t have telepathic powers, so we can’t see into another person’s heart or mind.
People talk about “reading the mood” or “sensing the atmosphere”, but mood and atmosphere are not readily visible and are often hard to gauge.
That’s why the only way for us to learn the other’s personal feelings is to listen to what he or she says.
We all have strong desire to have people understand our feelings.
But when we are in the role of listener, we tend to say things like:
“But isn’t it rather like this?” or “But there are cases where it’s like this”
.. in a sense negating the point of view of the person who’s speaking and pressing our own way of thinking on them.
And if we aren’t interested in the topic, we respond in bored way, “well, so what?”
If it’s a topic we are familiar with, we sometimes say “Oh, yes, I know about that: It’s…”
Suddenly we have shifted listener to talker.
At times like that, why not try to suppress your own feeling a bit and simply listen to what the other person is saying?
If you listen, you will discover the other person’s real feeling and attitudes.
When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
— Ernest Hemingway
To listen is to come to know and understand another’s feeling.
If you do that even to a small extent, the person you are listening to will be delighted that someone has understood his or her feeling and think very well of you indeed.
That alone will cause many problems in human relations to be quickly resolved.
Misunderstanding will be cleared up and psychological distance reduced, and people will feel that they are understood by others.