Hearing people is truly an art. It is so easy to let words go in out ears with no intent to ponder what we are hearing. A busy mom is often at fault for this as she is interrupted and distracted by little ones during conversation.
So, how can one hear? Really hear someone else?
It begins by loving that person. We naturally tune in to those whom we love. If I have a heart for my children, my husband, my mother, my neighbor, the lady at the store, I am far more apt to desire to hear what it is they have to share with me. But love is often not enough. I love my husband, but how easy it is to get caught up in my own ponder the going on in my own brain while being present and not really hearing what he is telling me.
Love must be played out in prayer. Yes, prayer is essential in truly listening to others. By praying for someone, I am making them a part of my spirit. By incorporating that person into who I am through prayer, I naturally build a concern and attachment to what I hear from him or her. I seek not just a connection with that person as a human being, but as a spirit when I am faithfully taking that person to the Lord in prayer. I also find myself much more interested in the going on’s of a person’s life if there are matters about that person I have been bringing to the Lord. It is wonderful to hear how the Lord is working in a person I personally have been seeking Him about.
Preparing for conversation. I will be the first to state that sometimes conversations pop up unexpectedly without a moment to prepare. However, if I have time, I love to ponder upcoming conversations. I will think of things I want to know, advice I need, or questions I have for that person in advance. If I am already wanting to know things, I am far more apt to be in tune with the discussion.
Observe while listening. This is incredible crucial. How many times I have been in conversation and what the person was telling me did not match up with how that person apperared or I could tell more needed to be said through facial expressions and voice influctions. Sometimes, people do not need to be heard for what they say as much as for who they truly are. How often yawns can tell me my friend is tired and clue me in to leave. A
Read through words to the heart. Words are often used by people to mask insecurities, loneliness, or lack of confidence. A person who tends to ramble and reluctant to end the conversation is most certainly struggling with loneliness. A person who tends to talk about him or herself and brag about their recent exploits is one who is insecure and desirous of affirmation. A person who talks in assertive language and tends to be uncomfortable with silence is one who lacks confidence.
Think about conversations later. This comes naturally for me. I often ponder conversations in retrospect. In my younger, more insecure days, this was not always a good thing and I used it to feed my already insecure mindset. But as the years have past, I find pondering past conversations useful in listening to what was said. I often like to follow up with a text to something we talked about. I am also able to add specific notes to my prayer journal which leads to even more improved hearing in future conversations.
Make friends of good listeners. I have some friends who are amazing listeners. They are gifted in completely tuning me in while we talk. I have learned from them how to hear others better, because they have heard me. How I have been heard by my dear friends has helped me know how to better hear people.