When we listen

Comments: 0

It is regarded as good practice in communication skills to listen to what another person has to tell you. After hearing the full essence of the message, then one ought to take some time to process the information before responding, to address what has been said. In theory, this is a sensible way to function with others.

In practice, there other issues to be taken into account. What if a person just chooses offload his or her personal angst on you, disguising this fact through professing to be concerned about the welfare of the wider community, or even pretending to hold you to account for aspirations you didn’t even know you had?

Some folks would see this as a simple matter. If you don’t have the time or inclination to listen to someone giving full vent to their frustrations (which you don’t happen to share), then it should be easy to shut down the diatribe. If on the other hand, you haven’t had enough time to process your feelings about the matter and you want to be careful about generating friction, perhaps the situation is more complex than it appears to be on the surface.

Why does validation from others matter so much? Obviously, we all need to survive (and possibly thrive). There are moments when we need approval in order to move from phase to phase in life – and also to be considered as valuable and dependable enough to do our jobs, so we can get paid, since we need resources to get by.

Things can get a bit hazy however, when we start conflating self esteem with perceptions of value that are beyond our control. Life isn’t simple, but we’ve all been endowed with thinking faculties and emotions, which can be used to find bespoke solutions to suit each individual.