As human beings, we all have a deep need to be heard and understood.

When we feel that others are truly listening to us, it can be incredibly validating and affirming. It can also help us to feel more connected and engaged with the world around us.

Unfortunately, many of us struggle to truly listen to others. We may be distracted by our own thoughts or preoccupied with our own concerns. We may interrupt or talk over others, failing to give them the space to express themselves fully.

The truth is that we find it hard to listen until we feel heard ourselves.

When we feel seen and understood by others, it can be easier for us to extend that same level of attention and empathy to those around us.

The key to learning how to listen is to start by focusing on our own listening skills.

We can practice active listening, which involves fully engaging with others, asking clarifying questions, and reflecting back on what we’ve heard to ensure we understand their perspective.

We can also work to create a space where others feel safe to express themselves. This may involve setting aside our own agendas and priorities to truly prioritise the needs and concerns of those around us.

Listening is a two-way street. When we take the time to truly listen to others, we create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

This experience of being truly and deeply heard is so rare. 

Something weird happens when you feel fully heard and understood.

When people feel like they’ve been heard, they undergo a peculiar transformation.

In a sense, they can stop fighting against the thing they’ve been working so hard to bring into the open. A sigh of relief is often accompanied by a calming and openness. And if done correctly, even the most adversarial or ideological person will begin to relax.

When we feel seen and understood it can help us to feel more connected, validated, and supported.

When we feel heard, we’re better equipped to extend that same level of empathy and understanding to those around us.

Sawubona, we see you, we hear you, you matter.

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