Maria Yeager

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The Value of Listening

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Well, I have spent the evening coloring in my adult coloring book. I love to do this! It is so relaxing, but it also gives me some time to think.

Today, I met with my counselor. I love these days. I learn so much from her, and she teaches me something new every day. Today I talked with her about helping someone who might benefit from the mistakes that I have made in life. I want to use my knowledge that I have learned through counseling to help them.

I had already learned this lesson, but one thing she reminded me of was that nothing will change unless the people involved decide to change and decide that they truly want the help. I learned this lesson years ago, but I needed that reminder today. This is the focus of today’s blog.

First of all, it is so true that you can give the best advice you can give, especially if you have been through something similar yourself, but if that person doesn’t take action to change his/her behavior, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It is incredibly difficult to watch someone destroy their life because they refuse to listen to good advice. You have to realize that you do not have control over his/her life. They have to take responsibility for their own actions. This is extremely difficult to watch, as I have had to do it myself. The best advice I can give to you is to place the responsibility where it lies – with the person involved. If he/she won’t change their behavior, there is absolutely nothing you can do. You must let go and let them fall and learn. It’s hard to do, but that’s all you can do.

Second, I truly believe that it is in everyone’s best interest, including my own, to re-evaluate our own lives from time to time. I have noticed that when I give advice or share my knowledge, many times I am met with fierce defensiveness. I am learning quite a bit in counseling, and I realize that the problem may be in my delivery. I am working on that. But one thing I have noticed is that a lot of people just don’t want to hear it. Has anyone else out there noticed that people are quick to talk, but it’s hard to get them to listen?

I really believe that if people really listened to what others are saying to them, misunderstandings wouldn’t happen as quickly. I believe listening has become a scarce ability. We all tend to think about our reply while the other person is talking – I know I do this all the time. What if we took the time to listen….not think about what we are going to say…but really listen to the other person and think about what they are saying to us….what would happen? I listened today to my counselor talk about congruent communication, and I realized how incredibly rare it is to have this type of communication. In general, I believe people are quick to rush to the defense.

I urge everyone to work on better communication. Listen….really listen…to what others say to us. I strongly believe that when others call us out on something, most of the time they are doing it out of love. I know that when I did it, I truly wanted the best for the other person. Try not to get defensive and truly listen to the other person with an open mind.  I think we would all be amazed at what we will learn when we TRULY listen.

Just a thought.








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