You’re Not Listening

You’re listening to the Love Tidbits Podcast, where you’ll discover a small, tasty, delightful,bite-sized tidbit of love. I’m your host, LeAnn Austin.

Hey, y’all welcome to Love Tidbits, episode number two: You’re Not Listening

You’re Not Listening is an awesome book written by Kate Murphy. So if listening is a thing for you, hear this:

Kate says, “How you talk to yourself affects how you hear other people.” Basically our inner dialogue influences and distorts what other people say and thus how we behave in our relationships.

She mentions: “People who have a higher degree of self-awareness are better listeners because they know the sorts of things that lead them to jump to the wrong conclusions. Cultivating self-awareness is a matter of paying attention to your emotions while in conversation and recognize when your fears and sensitivities, or your desires and dreams, hijack your ability to listen well. If you can do this, you have a greater capacity to understand and to connect with other people.” You can only be as intimate with another person as you are with yourself.

I’ve been thinking of a couple of takeaways to help us become better listeners. The first is to ask open-ended questions, knowing that the conversation could go anywhere. It’s almost like you’re on an adventure. You have no idea where it goes, but if you’re just asking, curious open-ended questions with no agenda in mind, how fun to see what you can learn and where the conversation may lead.

Sometimes when we’re trying to connect with people, we need little questions starters. So there was a study by psychologist, Arthur Aron, and they published this in the New York Times in 2015. And it’s called The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. So if you want to Google that, they may be helpful as you’re thinking about questions that lead to love.

A couple of them are: What would constitute a perfect day for you? Or, If you wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? So asking open-ended questions.

The other thing to remember is listening is a skill. It’s like playing a sport or a musical instrument that you can get better and better at it as you practice and you’re persistent, but you’re never going to achieve total mastery. We don’t arrive at being the ultimate listeners. There’s always something to learn. Some people may have more natural ability and some may have to try harder, but all of us can benefit from making the effort.

I recently heard something that is a great visual and helps me remember to listen. So I want you to visualize your hands held up in a heart, a little heart shape, touching your fingers and your thumbs together. And think about this the best way to love someone, look at your heart, is to listen. So go ahead and pull your hands apart. Put them up by your ears, listen. The best way to love is to listen. I hope that visual will help you like it’s helped me.

One of my favorite Kate quotes that I’ve been pondering is, “Listening plugs you into life. Listening helps you understand yourself as much as those speaking to you.” Hmm, something to think about.

Have a good one y’all and here’s to love and listening.
If you would like to become an expert at loving yourself, check out my Lovin Me Program

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