Have you ever been truly understood?

Check out my guest post at the Faithwalking blog HERE.
I’m also beginning to see how much I assume as a listener.  I assume I understand what the person is trying to communicate.  So I don’t ask follow up questions.  I assume they know that I know what they are talking about and therefore feel heard.  But that assumption is pretty arrogant.  It is pretty arrogant to think that I understand what they are trying to communicate without being clear about it.  And even if I am right about what they are trying to communicate, it is pretty unkind if I don’t show them that I hear them.  This is an area that I have been working on.  I have really been trying to understand people.  My need for ongoing growth really shows up when I vibrate (get anxious).  In one of the spontaneous conversations I had this week I vibrated and went right back to old habits.  I got competitive which means that I listened to attack and defend.
Even in all that, I can honestly say that I am a better listener.  Just a couple weeks ago my wife and I had a couple over to our house.  They had a matter they needed help sorting out and my wife and I were helping them through it.  After the couple left, my wife and I sat in our living room and “debriefed” the conversation.  At the end of our conversation I asked her, “What did you notice about how you and I worked together?”  Her response is still something I am proud of.  She said, “I notice that you ask more questions than before.”
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2 thoughts on “Have you ever been truly understood?

  1. Hi Nate! I once thought asking questions was a good sign that I was engaged and listening, and to a point, it is. I commend your openness in this because so many people simply don’t try to listen.

    After going through the Listening for Heaven’s Sake (http://www.equippingministries.org/?id=177) class & book with my wife, I realized it wasn’t best for her and what she really needed was for me to reflect back what she said (communicating thought and emotion). This has benefited me (and others!) in so many areas: work, marriage, small groups, you name it.

    I highly recommend Listening for Heaven’s Sake seminar or just the book if you can. It’ll change how you listen and want to be listened to.

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