When Somebody Has Something to Say


Naturally, many people like to talk more than they like to listen. To tell you the truth, I used to be one of them. As a matter of fact, I’m still culpable of this somewhat. In all honesty, I still occasionally lose grip of my silence in the middle of some serious conversations. To be sure, I’m not alone in this. Interestingly, the Good Book describes as foolish anyone who is “replying to a matter before he hears it.” Nowadays, I’m constantly conscious of this caution, ‘Before you talk, listen.’

Since humans love to talk, if you can focus on listening, truly listening attentively to the person you’re with, that person will adore you.

Take this for example. When visiting a friend who is ill, there’s a need to listen attentively and sympathetically. Rushing to provide advice or feeling that ‘I can always come up with a solution’ isn’t a good idea. In a hurry to express myself, I might inadvertently blurt out something that could hurt. My ill friend is not necessarily looking for answers but for someone who will listen with an open heart and mind.

Now let me tell you this short personal experience of mine. I used to have a friend who was always in a hurry to offer an advice even before he hears of the matter. Prior to my marriage, I confided in him about a certain quandary I faced: deciding between two ladies I was truly in love with. Sadly, my friend wouldn’t let me be done expressing myself before he cut me short, trivializing my condition with clichés like. “I have had a similar experience. It’s no big deal.” I felt really down, especially considering the fact that my case had some peculiarities. Pronto, I left him and vowed never to share my personal feelings with him again.

Even if you don’t say a thing, if you continue to acknowledge that you’re listening, using eye contact and body language and the occasional “Uh-huh” and “I know”, that person will adore you.

We Just need to resist the temptation to talk about ourselves- even if we get asked questions, deflect or answer quickly and then give that person an immediate opportunity to talk again.

The best way to practice active listening is to practice silence, as difficult as this may be. I love public speaking, private speaking, and, like most humans, talking about myself- so this is a challenge for me. But the few times I’ve done it, it’s been deeply rewarding.

A good listener listens not only with the ears but also with the heart. These days, when someone speaks, I try to understand their feelings. Needless to say, they sense my level of respect—or disrespect—by the way I listen.

Please let me know your own experience.



4 thoughts on “When Somebody Has Something to Say

  1. I am much better at listening than I used to be but I do love the art of talking. The reason I bring up a case scenario of when a similar situation happen to me, is to let the other person know that I understand how they feel and I can relate to them. Do you believe that it is bad to do this? Reading your post, it would seem so.

    • San, You sound terrific and I’m certainly in agreement with you. In all honesty, I don’t mean that. On the contrary, I’m also very good at identifying with others by means of relating similar experiences like theirs to prove I perfectly understand them, and perhaps use them as a hindsight. However, enthusiasm for case scenarios shouldn’t push us hurriedly to express ourselves. We patiently should wait to catch the gist of the story first.

      Many thanks for your kind thoughts.

      • I think you are wise. Sometimes us creative types, instinctively know what someone is about to say before they have said it, because we have great insight into how the mind works from within. It can be a blessing for writing but hard for the reality of the situation that is presented in front of us.

  2. Thank you! San. Yeah, certain things are really not as easy as presented, but I think it’s a lot easier if we play our part with the utmost care, then we’ll even enjoy freeness of speech.

    Stay well!

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