The most frustrating thing is this world is to feel like you’re not being heard. I can testify to this fact because I live with the great debater. Being a natural-born salesperson,my husband has the uncanny knack for only listening for “key” information that will help him to get what he wants. He has this thing down to a science, switching from the saint who bears all crosses to the beast who rushes in for the kill–all with that self-righteous, self-satisfied smirk that really grinds my gears, so to speak. I used to fight constantly to making sure that I am HEARD–not as an opponent in an argument, but as a person with valid opinions and feelings.
In a past life my way of dealing with this lack of proper communication was being passive-aggressive. If passivity did not bring the desired guilt, shame, and ultimate retreat of the aggressor, then I attacked with an almost desperate voracity, in fear for my emotional life. However, as I have grown into a wife and mother I have realized the mistake of this approach. Over the last year, I have begun to try out a new system: Listen First, Think Second, Speak Last. By following this motto, I have managed to fight a lot less while preserving my sanity and self-respect a lot more.
In this series, I focus on unpacking the power of that small phrase—Listen First, Think Second, Speak Last—piece by piece. When I am done, you will see how important it is to the emotional health of everyone to be an active listener. That one skill can make a huge impact in your professional as well as personal life.
God bless! And remember your opinion IS important–but so are the opinions of others. Don’t be a hearer; be a listener!