I was working on another post. One that I’m really proud of and excited to share, but not yet. I needed to jot down some other thoughts. Clear my mind before I can continue.
This one’s for me. You’re most certainly welcome to continue reading below though. If not, see you back here soon.
Everyone knows someone that listens really well. Perhaps you’re that person: Providing the perfect amount of eye contact, head nodding, and subtle encouragement. We should all strive to be this.
These people make you feel like you are the most important thing in their world at that moment. Like time with you is time well spent. We’ve all experienced the opposite. People pretending to be engaged, instead thinking of what they are going to say next. We’re all guilty from time to time.
It’s tough to find genuine listeners because they often get nothing in return. They offer their time. You lead them along as you wish.
My grandparents were two of the best listeners I think I’ll ever meet. Whenever I talked to them—in person, on the phone, over Skype—I had their full attention. Undivided. They gave me space so I could explain whatever was bouncing around my head. Always adding, rarely subtracting from my thoughts as I went.
I miss them every day. My grandfather passed away in June 2015. My grandmother more recently in August. Over the last year, as I was juggling work, school, and some personal things, I would call my grandmother frequently to check in on her and have someone to talk to. I always hung up a call with her and felt better than when we started talking.
We talked so often that for a while we scheduled 5:15p on Wednesdays for our conversations. I was walking home from work and she had some time before starting dinner. Some days I would run a little late. So she would call me. “Is it five-fifteen yet?” she would say when I picked up the phone.
It was an invitation for me to tell her how my day went and start speaking. Five-fifteen. It’s as if she was saying: I’m ready to listen, go ahead.