How to Truly Listen to Your Loved Ones

Headphones and heart concept for love listening to music

Listening sincerely to what people say enables deep connections.  Sincere listening means prioritizing the speakers’ words over anything else in the universe.  It’s demonstrating profound reverence for what they say, lapping up every detail like the next page of a fascinating book.

I heard near-death experience stories where a temporarily deceased person enters a heaven-like realm.  In that realm, the person may encounter a library of sacred books where each book represents the eternal thoughts and experiences–the life story—of a living being.  Accordingly, your book is there, too.  And the pages are updated in real-time.

If that represents what occurs, you are invited to read a page in a sacred book of life every time someone speaks.  What a tremendous privilege!  With that said, here are some tips on how to best listen to your loved ones (or any soul, for that matter):

Drop everything you are doing.  I believe nothing is more important than your loved ones.  Not food.  Not air.  Not water.  Physical things don’t last, but the soul goes on forever.  And the soul is love.  So, when that object of your affection speaks, give your full attention.

Enjoy seeing through their eyes.  We already know what our own experiences have yielded.  We don’t need to rehash them, as this takes away from our loved one’s communicated experience.  Instead, relish seeing the world through their eyes.  By doing so, we can feel their heartbeat more clearly as it reflects what they say.  We can step inside their shoes and take part in their journey, broadening our experiences far beyond what simply iterating our own could yield.

Don’t interrupt.  You learn more by listening than by injecting.  So, center the conversation around your loved one’s views.  Explore what they say with “what” and “how” questions.  Ask about the little nuances that help define their experience.  Paraphrase by saying, “It sounds like you are saying …”.  If you listen intently, you will find their views fascinating and potentially life changing.

Read between the lines with great love.  Don’t just listen to their words, but deeply listen for how you can help them feel special or better provide for their needs and wishes.  And focus all your love onto their every word and gesture.  The more you listen with love, the better the bond you will forge.  And I believe we are meant to bond with all living beings.

Ramp up your replies with a love bomb.  Take advantage of every opportunity to praise, encourage, or agree.  Don’t leave an opportunity for a kind word unturned.  And if you can offer a service, whether it costs you time, money, or effort, you both gain.  But the trick to positive love bombs is to make them selfless.

Help them feel extra special.  The first way to help them feel special is to smile.  Also, nod your head in agreement every so often.  But ensure nothing you say is even remotely critical about them or anyone else.  By refraining from speaking negatively, the discussion is infinitely more positive.  And the positive tends to help everyone feel special.

Prioritize their needs.  Put their needs ahead of your own.  For instance, if they want to go to a movie but you’d prefer to read a book, agree to a film.  If they need help with groceries, but you’ve got your eye on a new pair of jeans, go without the jeans.  True unconditional love is completely selfless.  It expects nothing but gives it all.  And unconditional love places no “conditions” on how the other should behave to receive your love.

Don’t judge a single word.  Instead, acknowledge and empathize.  Everybody sees the world differently, and no view is necessarily better than another.  It’s just a different personality’s life perspective.  I believe it’s best to appreciate and respect others’ opinions without judgment but to dissect and analyze our own.  That’s the foundation for proper growth, in my opinion.

So, you’ve just read a page in my book of life, and I wondered what might be in yoursI know yours is filled with beauty, mystery, and infinite love.  And as your book fills up further with your thoughts at this very moment, I guarantee that, whatever your thoughts might be, this world is a richer place because of you.