Listen to being Loved and be Happy

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Loved breeds happiness. And when you make others happy, you are loved. There is a close bond between love and happiness. How does listening help you in being loved and being happy? This is the subject of our discussion in this essay. The feeling that you are being loved brings you satisfaction. It enhances your self esteem and results in happiness. When others care for you, you feel important and when they listen to you, you feel significant and elated which adds to your happiness. Same is true when you listen to them.

Let’s deal with the subject by considering the following 3 questions:               

What is good listening?

How does it help you to being loved?

How does it help you to be happy?

Question 1. What is good listening?

i)It requires you to put your agenda aside and totally devote to understanding and assimilating what is being said. You don’t listen to give a reply, but you just listen to understand. The moment you become keen to give a reply, your mind will start analyzing the speech from your own perspective. It will hinder your ‘objective’ understanding.

ii) Your attention should be fully in the present. There should be no thoughts about the past nor should you think about future.

iii) You need also to understand the body language of the speaker. And, this would include eye contact, posture, facial expression etc.

iv) Listening needs to be non-judgmental. You must not allow your likes and dislikes or personal prejudice to affect the meaning the speakers wants to project.

v) To be listened is so important for the people that many a times they will like to be heard rather than just granted the request what they requested.

vi) Active listening calls for you to listen about 80% of the time without interruption balance 20% of the time you may ask questions. This will indeed be an attribute of good listening.

vii) You need to make it known to the speaker that you are attentively listening. Thus, your nods with your head and words like ‘Yes’hmm ‘I see, I agree go                                                            long way to make be you an adept active listener.

viii) You will indeed enjoy your choice of active listening with the results that you will derive from the activity.

Question 2. How does active listening help you to being loved?

Now we can consider how listening actively makes others happy and make you in turn happy. They not only respect you but they love you if you actively listen to what they say.

The speaker feels that he/she are important when you carefully listen to them. They are reassured that you care for them. In turn they will care for you. The speaker thinks that they have some worthy ideas that is being expressed. And if you don’t listen to them with due attention, they will feel let down. But if on the other hand you not only listen but make it known that you have listened, the speaker will feel elated and happy and so will you be. Respect is always mutual, you have to earn respect. You have to make others happy to receive positive vibes making you happy in return.

Besides, better listening rids you of any bitter discussion. You understand that these are futile. Avoiding arguing, you also avoid bitterness which often is the result of trying to win an agreement. Active listening empowers you to hold your opinion without any offence. Because of your listening skills you are in a position to offer you opinion in a relevant manner. When your conversation with everyone becomes more meaningful, both of you enjoy it. Undoubtedly it brings happiness.  Exchange of ideas in such a situation brings about a lot of learning on both sides. Continuous learning raises your self –esteem which in turn makes you satisfied with yourself and be contented.

In fact, even between the spouses the problem starts with one not listening to other. One feels ignored and the problem starts. Left unattended, it grows into unmanageable differences. If we are unhappy at home or at the work, place life is messed up. Children too turn rebellious because they feel that parents don’t try to understand them. In the fast changing world today maintaining good relations is more challenging than ever. Yet good relationship is emanating from better understanding which forms the foundation of respect and love.

So if you want to be loved by others listen to them and make them feel that they are loved. If you want to gain happiness distribute the same among others who will gladly reciprocate.

Question 3. How does Good Listening help you to be Happy?

Every living being has physiological needs and safety needs. Living being must have food to live and is keen to care for life. That part is survival story. No happiness is involved. But, after survival needs are fulfilled, psychological needs come to the fore for human beings.

As social entities, humans want to have a feeling of belonging. It’s an experience that they belong to a community, a family or a group gives them a feeling of satisfaction. If they are alone and uncared their psychological craving of togetherness disturbs them.

Good listening helps you to have cordial relations with your family and friends. When you listen to them they come closer to you, they experience that you are giving them importance. By listening you reassure them of their significance. Inwardly they feel obliged to you as you are fulfilling their psychological need of heart to heart communication.

As we discussed earlier ability to express your ideas give a great satisfaction. However, you approve of your ability only if the listeners pay attention, understand and when possible and needed, take action. Likewise when you are actively listening, the speaker feels comfortable and satisfied with his skill of expression. In turn the process fosters better relation and love for each other. This is particularly important among the family members and close friends. Besides, when you speak, you say what you already know. No doubt it satisfies your need for expression, but you don’t learn anything new. But listening gives you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know. Learning gives a great satisfaction and enhances your self esteem. When your self esteem is high you wish to do greater things. Self-esteem enables you to venture on the new turf, start new project. Maslow’s theory of happiness is recognized as the last word in respect of this great wishful emotion-happiness.

“There is a clear distinction between love and respect or esteem. The ability to feel self-esteem springs from being embraced by families and communities”. Further, you become more creative which again contributes to your confidence.

Good listening also helps you to mitigate your personal ego. Because when you are full of ego, you tend to behave as if you know all and therefore you shun listening, much less active listening.

Actualization makes you really happy. And what is actualization? Maslow defines actualization as “what a man can be, he must be. This need may be referred to the desire for self-fulfillment. So discovery of self, understanding the capabilities and then doing what it takes to actualize yourself will grant the best results. But this cannot take place unless you are a good listener. Further, survey reveals that you tend to perceive situations, people and their reality more accurately if you are good listeners.

With all the advantages described above there remains no doubt that listening and its resultant process will make you one, who understands the world and the people better. This understanding will make you happier, more than your expectations.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

7 Steps to becoming a good listener

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Listening is as important for good conversation as speech is. Your ability to influence or convince people increases manifold, if you develop good listening skills. There are many other advantages of being a good listener. These include:

i) Learning from listening:  When you talk, you repeat what you already know but when you listen, you are likely to learn something new.

ii) Active listening is the secret to discover great stories:  Active listening enables you to understand and assimilate not only what is said but also what are left unsaid. The body language and the modulation of the speech reveals all.

iii) Improving relations:  Everyone wants to the other to listen. Good Listening raises the self-esteem of the speaker. At the same time, you also become important in your own assessment. More importantly, the speaker finds that you are giving respect to his views. As a result the relationship between two individuals improves.

iv)Unnecessary arguments avoided:  In the meetings most arguments take place due to lack of proper listening and understanding. It is said that first understand and then be understood. You already know what needs to be said if you listen to the other person appropriately and you have understood him/her.

v) Overall improvement of productivity:  If you are a good listener and make the speaker feel that you are, the conversation becomes more focused. Brevity replaces verbosity and time and energy is saved by everyone.

There would be many other advantages of being a good listener but I think these are enough to convince everyone about the dire need to become a good listener.  How can one become a good listener? What are the steps we must take for becoming one? I list below seven steps which when followed would result in development of adequate listening skills. These are:

Step I: Prepare yourself to listen. Relax and focus on what the speaker says. If any other thought is coming to your mind, put it aside when listening to someone. Do not try to think and solve any other problem like you might miss your train or about the argument you might had with your boss and the like.

Step II: Make the speaker comfortable and put him at ease. Let them feel free to express what they have in mind. Maintaining an eye contact will make the speaker feel that you are listening.

Step III: Maintain your patience. If you are not patient your body language will reveal that. And it is not possible to listen properly unless you are relaxed and  are not in a hurry.

Step IV: You must empathize. Try to understand people by looking at the situation from their perspective. If the speaker says something with which you do not agree, keep an open mind and don’t snub.

Step V:  Avoid your personal prejudices. You may have one style of saying things. You may be fluent in language; everyone is not. So, you must not negate others on any such basis. Give them a fair opportunity to explain.

Step VI: Listen to the body language. You can listen with your ears. But you can also listen with your eyes. Body language is extremely important when you are engaged any critical discussion.

Step VII: Ideas are important, not just the words. Listen to understand the ideas. The speaker may not be an expert in communications and may not use precise language. In that case reframe the sentence according to your understanding and ask if you have understood well.

The above steps to improve your listening skills aptly deserve the time and effort you may spend. The benefits are immense.

Thanks for reading.