Learning to Listen: A Challenge To All
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Learning to Listen: A Challenge To All

Are you just hearing what others have to say, or are you really listening?

Learning to Listen: A Challenge To All

I will be the first to admit that I do not always listen. We can get so wrapped up in our lives that it can feel like work to actually listen. This is true; it does take work sometimes. Have you noticed that when people listen to you, it truly makes a difference? Hearing versus listening is so different, and I think we all know this at least to an extent from experience.

It takes effort to listen. Maybe we feel what we're thinking about or doing is more important. Maybe we are tired or distracted. Maybe we really don't care what the other person is saying. Maybe they're a bad story-teller (like me), and you know what they're saying isn't going anywhere. It's typically a lot easier to half-listen or to not really listen at all. When we're asked to repeat what someone said, many times we can. But, are we really listening?

Being a good listener is very valuable. Listening is a skill that will be utilized throughout our entire lives. It is prevalent in school, in work, in personal relationships, and anytime we're around others. This isn't necessarily taught in school, but it's something that we learn, sometimes the hard way.

It can be hurtful to others when we don't listen to them. Do you ever feel like you disappointed or hurt someone by not remembering something they told you? I know I've felt that way. I think we've all been on the other side, too. When we're telling something to our friends or family and feel that no one is listening, it feels as if it's not important. That can lead to us feeling as if we're unimportant, which is not at all the case.

I want to challenge you, as well as myself. We have opportunities nearly every single day to engage in conversation with those around us. During this holiday season and beyond, truly listen to each person in conversation. Make eye contact. Be engaged in what is being said. People will notice, and you will begin to learn a lot more about people. Each person is so intricate and unique; there are no two the same. Make a goal of learning more about the people you love, as well as making the effort to listen, even to those you don't really care to hear.

Put the phone down when you want to check up on your social media. Listen to that friend with the bad stories, just to make her smile and feel important. Show that you are interested, and it will be noticed. We all like to feel special. The Lord wants to show His love through this, and it is absolutely possible. Do you realize that it's as easy as engaging in conversation and listening with your full attention? Give this a try, and see what comes. It is powerful.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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