“To listen well is to figure out what’s on someone’s mind and demonstrate that you care enough to want to know. It’s what we all crave; to be understood as a person with thoughts, emotions, and intentions that are unique and valuable and deserving of attention.
Listening is not about teaching, shaping, critiquing, appraising, or showing how it should be done [“Here, let me show you.” “Don’t be shy.” “That’s awesome!” “Smile for Daddy.”]. Listening is about the experience of being experienced. It’s when someone takes an interest in who you are and what you are doing.
The lack of being known and accepted in this way leads to feelings of inadequacy and emptiness. What makes us feel most lonely and isolated in life is less often the result of a devastating traumatic event than the accumulation of occasions when nothing happened but something profitably could have. It’s the missed opportunity to connect when you weren’t listening or someone wasn’t really listening to you.”
― Kate Murphy, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
I always come to this quote every time I need to remind myself about the importance of always listening.
Sawubona, we see you, you matter, you are important.