I've been slowly learning, but I've finally realized the importance of listening more and talking less.
Sometimes we have opinions. In the last year, opinions have become very offensive and hurtful. Opinions have destroyed friendships and relationships, but that's nothing new. Stubborn opinions can be heated and hurtful. It's hard to understand someone's opinion if you don't have an open mind and just listen. I've been trying to sit and understand others' opinions, not just to have peace, but because I'm also interested in how their mind works. Not everyone is the same, so of course their perceptive will be different.
I love to listen to my friends and family's dreams and goals. I find it fascinating to see the passion in their eyes and the determination in their veins. I feel like I can connect to them through their words. I take their dreams to heart, and I encourage them to pursue them. I want to see them succeed in their life. I love them, and I want to see them happy.
My favorite things to listen to are stories. I love to hear the crazy, funny, bizarre stories that happen. People in this world are crazy! We can learn from stories. We can learn what is a good idea and what is a bad idea. We can take away lessons from bad stories. We can enjoy the happiness and laughter from good stories! There's just so many emotions on both sides of storytelling.
Sometimes someone may just have a bad day and need an ear. I'm okay to lend one. I know when I have bad days, just having someone listen to me let it out helps immensely. Sometimes it can even turn that day around. I never know what another person is going through until they say something. I hate to think my friends or family may cry themselves to sleep or think no one cares about them. Because in reality, I care. I care a lot because I love the people I have surrounded myself with.
When I listen to someone, I give them my full attention. I put my phone down and away. Sometimes I'll take notes to remember what they said. I give them eye contact. I respond at respectful times. I try my hardest to not interrupt with my two cents. I don't want to ruin the bridge of communication with my own stories and opinions.
When I talk, I may take away from these experiences. When I talk, I may offend someone. When I talk, I may say the wrong words. When I talk, I may talk too much. But when I listen, I can only learn.