Contributed by Terrina Picarello, MA, LPC
PCS Staff Therapist
The lack of feeling heard can really put a strain on relationships. This is true whether it’s a couple, a parent and child, best friends, co-workers; any relationship.
Have you ever had a communication with someone only to realize what they said, and what you heard, were totally different? Even the simplest of interactions can get misconstrued if we only listen to the words.
Authentic communication requires both learning to speak from a genuine heart place and learning to listen more deeply. We call it deep heart listening because as we focus in the heart when someone is speaking with us, we can learn to hear more than their words.
Deep heart listening involves hearing on three levels. The words of what is said. The feelings or the emotions behind the words – and the energetic essence of what the words and feelings combined really mean.
Most of us pay close attention to the first level of listening – the actual words being said.
To practice the second level of listening we need to also feel the communication. That’s where we start to understand a person deeper. When listening, try and sense the emotions driving what the other person is saying. (ie: are they frustrated, are they worried, are they excited, etc.)
The third level is the essence of a communication. This is where we can discover the real meaning of what someone is trying to say. To do this we have to slow down what’s going on inside our own mind, put our own emotions in neutral, and remain open to the other person.
Practicing appreciation with others as they’re speaking and making a sincere effort to deep heart listen strengthens the communication bond with each other. Offering this kind of “safe zone” to openly communicate is a way of putting our love into action.
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