With others

Talk less, listen more

 “Do your best to practice compassionate listening. Do not listen for the sole purpose of judging, criticizing, or analyzing. Listen only to help the other person express himself and find some relief from his suffering.” 

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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I was talking to a friend earlier and was moved by what a good listener she was.

She just listened to me the entire time, giving me her fullest attention. She did not interrupt or rush to say something that was on her mind. She let me finish and allowed the silence to linger for just the right amount of time before speaking. More than anything, she comforted me with her deep presence. Just her presence and the fact that she was in that moment with me with her deep listening made me feel better.

Thich Nhat Hanh mentions deep listening frequently. But this is the first time that I have actually experienced the depth of it. I recalled the times I have had conversations with people who were there but not really there with me.

And I have been that person many many times as well. I interrupt people often, I rush to say things on my mind and I think of what to say next when people are talking. Yes, I am aware of my bad habits. But having experienced the depth of deep listening and realising the benefit I reaped from it, makes me want to offer that to others as well.

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