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Opinion | Are You Listening?

Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Opinion | Are You Listening?

Opinion | Are You Listening?

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/opinion/art-of-listening.html

nytimes.com

4

Key Ideas

Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

Good listening

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.

Inability to listen to yourself

People who have not been listened to often find it hard to listen to themselves. They struggle to make sense of their inner world.

When people are forced to muffle their feelings and thoughts, they are in danger of burying those inner perturbations so deeply that they can't dig them up again.

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Be the last to speak

This way, you'll be able to hear your team’s true thoughts, which you can to use to inform the opinion you yourself deliver at the end of the conversation.

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Shut down outside distractions

A key part of being a good listener is showing the speaker that he or she has your undivided attention. Close your laptop and put away your phone.

This gives those speakers the confidence to express themselves fully without feeling that they’re imposing on your time.

Mind your body language

7 percent of a message is conveyed through words. Body language plays a major role in how we communicate and how we listen.

When you’re listening, then, be aware of what your body language is saying to the speaker. Unfold your arms and be open to what this person has to say.

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Challenges To Listening
  • We have many things screaming for our attention every minute of the day and we often trick ourselves into believing they’re more important than a conversation unfolding right in front o...
The Importance Of Proper Listening

With proper listening you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the conversation and demonstrate to speakers that you’re invested in what they have to say.

Being a good listener is one of the most potent things you can do to increase your influence and likeability. It is also one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead.

How To Be A Better Listener
  1. Push other activities from your mind, and be present in the discussion. This tells the other person that you’re ready for the conversation.
  2. Keep a neutral expression that simply says, “I’m listening.” We tend to physically react to what we hear and it disrupts our ability to listen and the other person’s ability to be heard. 
  3. Offer uninterrupted speaking time. Well-intended or not, interruptions makes effective communication impossible. 
  4. Repeat back succinctly and ask validating questions to make sure you heard the speaker correctly.
Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening
  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.
Improving Active Listening skills
  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;
What Self-Reflection Is
What Self-Reflection Is

Is the process of thinking back on previous events and interpreting them through your experience. 

It’s about taking a step back and reflecting on your life, behavior and beliefs....

The Importance of Self-Reflection
  • It improve self-awareness.
  • It allows you to understand and see things from a different point of view. 
  • It allows you to respond, not react.
  • It facilitates a deeper level of learning.
  • It improves confidence.
  • It makes you challenge your assumptions.
The Process of Self-Reflection
  • STOP: Take a step back from life or a particular situation.
  • LOOK: Identify and get perspective on what you notice and see.
  • LISTEN: Listen to your inner guide, the innate wisdom that bubbles up when you give it time and space to emerge.
  • ACT: Identify the steps you need to take moving forward to adjust, change or improve.

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Life’s ups and downs

They aren’t optional but your ability to be happy throughout is. 

Positive people know that life is not only about positive stuff. They are just mentally prepared to embrace chall...

Wait before reacting

You’re not in a normal frame of mind when you’re angry. Your anger won’t make you want to resolve a problem; it’ll just make you want to lash out at somebody. 

When you've calmed down, ask yourself if the issue is something that really needs to be addressed or if you just overreacted. If after 24 hours, the thing that bothered is still on your mind, speak or act constructively to remedy the situation.

Take responsibility

Don't walk around feeling sad, angry, and mistreated because you think that fate should treat you differently. It's a damaging way to think.

You and you alone are responsible for your happiness. If the world hurls misfortune at you one day, find a way to divert it or turn it into something positive.

We're bad at listening

We come into conversations with our own agendas and low attention spans, and that can be a dangerous combination.

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Being present in conversations
  • Get your face out of your phone and focus your attention.
  • Be willing to receive information.
  • Be willing to engage in the conversation and to listen with the intent to understand.
  • Be willing to stay the course and not let your mind wander.
  • Bring the conversation to a close with takeaways and next steps.
  • Respect the existence of emotions and their roles and be aware of the body language also.
  • Keep your ego out of the conversation.
What happens when you listen
  • Listening is the basis for growth and advancement. You can’t advance your skills and knowledge without understanding others.
  • Listening is also important because we all want love and respect; we want to spend time with people who listen.
Conversational Narcissism

Is to seek to hold the attention of a conversation on oneself. It occasionally manifests on the average person when we pretend to be listening, but we were really focusing on what we wa...

Active Listening

Is to not judge or analyze what the person is saying at first. Just focusing on listening and trying to understand their perspective.

The Three Components of Active Listening
  1. Paraphrase: Consists of repeating at the speakers a summary of what they say, so they feel understood.
  2. Inquire: Obtain all the information that is relevant to the resolution of the issue.
  3. Acknowledge: Once the issue is made clear, communicate to your counterpart that you understand it.

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Unresolved conflicts

The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth. The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes.

Being honest

The last person you should ever have to censor yourself with is the person you love.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel-good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right.

Being willing to end it

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. 

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

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How we perceive philosophy
How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

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Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.

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We don’t ask big questions

Big questions referring to is the meaning of life matter deeply because only with sound answers to them we can direct our energies meaningfully, but most of us get shy expressing them. -...

Philosophy = thinking for yourself

Philosophers are interested in asking whether an idea is logical–rather than simply assuming it must be right because it is popular and long-established. - Alain de Botton

Philosophers were the first therapists

Philosophers teach us to think about our emotions, rather than simply have them. By understanding and analysing our feelings, we learn to see how emotions impact on our behaviour in unexpected, counterintuitive and sometimes dangerous ways.  - Alain de Botton

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