We all appreciate people who know how to listen. We appreciate their emotional hospitality, their genuine empathy, their ability to validate our words, stories and feelings.
However, we must remember one thing: people who know how to listen, those who are there for us when we need them, also need to be listened to from time to time. This subject is more important than we might think.
Carl Rogers, a great humanistic psychologist, once said that the basis of any healthy relationship lies in active listening, in the ability to listen to each other effectively. However, more and more people are starting psychological therapy to feel they are being listened to “for the first time”.
There are people who stand out as constantly accessible figures, whom everyone consults to share their concerns, problems and anxieties. They are people of refuge who, oddly enough, cannot find theirs when they need it.
What’s more, many are so used to listening to others that they end up hiding their needs. They hide in the convolutions of the shell of silence.
It is progressively easier for them to let others speak than to ask them to be silent for a while to reveal what they are feeling, to say out loud that they also have concerns and would like to be heard. listen. These are very common situations that should invite us to think deeply.
People who know how to listen may not always know how to ask for help
Some people who know how to listen have got used to not being listened to. This data may surprise us, but it is a reality very similar to that of those who are used to struggling with their loved ones without receiving anything in return.
There are many types of invisibility and the one where you have no one to confide in, even if you are the classic figure of refuge that everyone comes to find, is undoubtedly one of the most common. . Sooner or later, these people end up entering therapy because they need someone to listen to them sincerely.
Ultimately, we all need our stories to be heard. Each of us deserves emotional support that we can confide in. It really hurts not to be able to count on someone to do this.
But why do these situations take place? Is it the fault of the person who has become accustomed to listening and who cannot be assertive enough to say what he needs? Or are we facing a type of relational selfishness ? Let’s analyze the possible causes now.
This reality is very common among the members of a couple and even between friends. There is always one person who has gotten used to pouring out all kinds of thoughts, anecdotes, ideas or problems of different kinds on another.
Communication is one-way and through narcissistic verbiage. We do not take into account the interlocutor and we fall into an almost compulsive monologue and completely lacking in empathy.
This type of situation highlights a clearly toxic type of relationship. What is most appealing is that someone who is used to using the other as a “container” for his verbiage always praises that person’s merits. So he doesn’t skimp on compliments like ” What would I do without you?” Nobody understands me so well ”.
People who know how to listen are sometimes afraid of being judged
In a study carried out at the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester (UK), Dr Pamela Fitzerald demonstrated a point that many of us can fully understand. When a person enters psychological therapy, they take into account a very simple aspect: they know that whatever they say, they will not be judged.
This makes us understand that many of these people who listen but avoid confiding in others, often do so out of fear of criticism. Some experiences of the past may have deprived them of this safe environment where they can feel listened to and validated. Or the weight of criticism received at certain times may prevent them from opening up to others.
Listening is sometimes easier than communicating
Another factor that explains why some people prefer to listen rather than communicate is that of personality style. The introverted profile is often raised as this ideal of the person to consult in private to explain our experiences and our thoughts.
However, the latter (or the latter) rarely does the same thing and, if he does, he chooses the best people. Often times, listening is easier for many people than communicating. All you need is active listening, a look that understands and a presence.
Opening up to others to express their feelings, to reveal facts or confidences requires a different type of skill. Skills that are not obvious to certain personality types (or that you cannot apply with just anyone).
We all deserve to be heard: this is an act of emotional hospitality
People who know how to listen also deserve to be listened to. If we have that someone who is always there for us, let us remember to practice this reciprocity and give him what he gives us.
It is possible that this friend, colleague or loved one has more facilities for listening than for communicating, but whatever the case, we must create safe environments to allow them to speak when they need to.
To conclude, let us remember that listening is much more than just allowing the other to speak while we think about what to say… Human communication is also an act of hospitality through which we welcome the words of the other. and we embrace them.
It’s about connecting to protect, offering refuge for the other to feel safe, showing understanding and empathy. Let’s learn to practice active listening on a daily basis.