How do you feel when an understanding friend quietly listens to you with love and sincere interest? This may be the polarity of how it felt sometime when you were really upset about something, began to share, and the “listener” shut you off or interrupted to give you suggestions. A person who listens with loving interest and respect helps us process our emotions. When another accepts our emotions (without judgment) it has the effect of giving us permission to accept our own emotions and feeling empowered to process and resolve the issue.
Active listening is a gift of time and love. Active listening is actually reflecting back the content or emotions of what is being said., and truly listening with interested silence when not doing that.
This applies to children and teens too! A child who is really upset about something will usually begin to calm down after a few active listening responses. Teens frequently move rapidly from anger to talking about feelings and usually begins to calm down with a one to four active listening responses!
Active Listening is a skill that takes practice and is worthwhile practicing!
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