Question my answer...
The art of answering a query that was never asked is some superpower! But ask yourself if there was really a question to be answered in the first place?
The reason I ask this is because we all at some point in time of our lives have shared our experiences of good, bad and ugly times, but was it to get advice or was it to include another person in our space?
I think people forget that sometimes all others are trying to do is share their story and take it as their personal responsibility to draw a map to a destination, when those people were never lost to begin with…
As kids our teachers and parents taught us to develop our ideas by facilitating the right perspective and never forced their ideas onto us.
They let us experiment, experience and excel rather than follow, fumble and forget.
Then why are we constantly looking at ways to force our experiences onto others who never really asked for them; our “ears” of wisdom was all that they needed and not our “years” of it…
I think it is a great gesture to try and help people around us, but trust me that they will ask for it when they need it, so until the time they do, here are 10 things we must keep in mind when people are sharing their lives with us:
1. Be a great listener and acknowledge that you are really paying attention: Try it sometimes and you will feel liberated to say the least.
2. Be genuinely interested or be brutally honest: It’s perfectly fine to not be interested in something being shared, but it is criminal to lead the other into feeling that you are; so be honest about your interest.
3. Do not assume that people need answers especially when they never asked for it: You are not their spiritual guide but are only their confidant for that moment in their lives, so don’t get ahead of yourself and try to be a mind reader.
4. Don’t be judgement: No one cares, no one needs to know and your opinions are not not larger than their reality, so be neutral in though.
5. Show empathy and join the emotion of the conversation and do not show sympathy towards their experiences: People want a friend who will experience their lives with them and not a strange who cannot connect with them emotionally.
6. Have a conversation and not a confrontation: Set the tone of your conversation and let the volume be minimal.
7. A different perspective never hurt anyone but let it be in the form of self realisation and not advice: Be a great teacher and not a preacher.
8. Do not interrupt the person sharing his experience: Let the person speak his heart out and welcome those moments of silence, for in those moments the person will find his own perspective.
9. Understand that people sharing their thoughts with you is a privilege that they have given you and not your birth right: When people stop abruptly it’s not your place to ask for more but be happy that they shared. Remember that sometimes all they want is for someone to listen, so be there because it is a privilege like none other.
10. Be inspired by what you hear: There is always something positive to take back from what people share with you; just keep your ears open for it.
Bonus point: Thank them for sharing!
As I end this note I would like to leave you with some food for thought; If you had to share your life’s experiences with someone, would you qualify as part of your list of people you want to include into your space?
Well be the best listener you can be to your own thoughts before you share it with people who love you.
That’s it from me for today and I hope you loved this note as much as I loved writing it…