I have 8 sisters. I call different sisters for different things. When I was dating if I needed somebody to tell it to me like it was I’d call one sister, but if I wanted encouragement I’d call a different one. Today I can call and chat with any of them but each dynamic will be slightly different. One sister and I will talk more about kids, another exercise, another thought games. Not one is better than the other. They are all different.
“When you talk, you’re only repeating what you already know. But, when you listen, you learn something new.” @thediscoveryhub
This is true, but only if you are using active listening. I have been guilty of listening to a story, zoning out, and going into my own head space. Sometimes I get busy trying to be helpful and while I try to think of a good useful response I stop actively listening. It’s kind of like using a microfiber cloth, if you quickly put the cloth under a stream of water, the water just runs off. However, if you hold it there, wring in the water, and give the cloth time to absorb, the quality and usefulness of the rag changes. The wetness of the water didn’t change, your approach to the water did.
If you find yourself continually frustrated in certain relationships, perhaps its time to look at your approach. Are you really listening to that story in an effort to see how it affected the other person or are you enduring it, all the while thinking about other things? I can tell you from personal experience, that changing your approach to listening can absolutely improve relationships. It won’t change the other person, but it will change your patience, understanding, and appreciation for their situation. Remember Mother Teresa, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” If all you have to do to make someone’s day better is to listen, then by all means, open up those listening ears.