Being a good listener is a skill that can help us in our recovery, and in so many aspects of our sober lives. Learning to listen well improves our ability to communicate with others. If we are entirely fixated on what we want to say in response to another person, we lose the opportunity to fully comprehend their input. Worse, is when we are so intent on getting our point across, that we interrupt someone mid sentence.
Listening isn’t all about hearing what the other person has to say. It’s about respect. It’s also about having patience and manners. Manners may seem like an old-fashioned word or concept in today’s world where anything goes. However, when we fully listen to someone, we are showing them the same respect we desire for ourselves.
Being a good listener is an act of humility. Everything is not about us. What if, instead of having to say what we think matters, we just nod and let the person continue speaking. What if we just tell ourselves what we think is so important? Since we can’t change anyone’s mind, is our opinion really that important?
An effective tool for listeners is make sure to let the speaker know that they have been heard, and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings fully. When a person does not communicating well, or there’s a dense subject matter being relayed, an effective listening skill is to repeat back to the speaker what we think we heard. Then they have the option to clarify for us what we understood or misunderstood.
Listening can improve our critical thinking and knowledge. With the internet at our fingers, we can tap into any subject to which we are interested, be it physics, animal communication, ancient Egypt, landscape gardening, genetics or museums around the globe.
Listening well doesn’t always have to do with understanding what another person is saying. Listening is hearing. Listening can be relaxing and engaging, like listening to a symphony. Listening can be soothing. Consider taking a walk in the woods. Stop somewhere along the path. Listen. What do you hear? You might hear a bird, the wind rustling leaves, a nearby brook, nature’s soft side.
“I never learn anything from listening to myself.”― Barbara Kingsolver
Infinity Malibu’s addiction rehab programs include co-ed and gender-specific programming. The treatment day begins early, and is filled with activity as participants work closely with their therapists, connect with other patients, and create a foundation for lasting change. 888-266-9048