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Listen & Learn

Have you ever felt like someone is constantly harping on you, nagging or repeating the same things over and over again? Maybe they’re giving you the cold shoulder or ignoring you. Does it make you feel frustrated, annoyed, confused or angry? Maybe you even feel like you’re being verbally attacked.

Usually in these situations our reactions is based on how it makes us feel as individuals when someone is coming at us. This is certainly not wrong, because relationships at all levels are a two way street and we get to feel our feelings, but we also get to consider the other person’s point of view. Like the old saying “you never know how someone is truly feeling until you’ve walked in their shoes.” 👟 👠

Instead, next time you find this kind of event happening, try to step back, really listen and ask yourself, what is this person trying to tell me? Why are they saying the same thing? What do THEY need to feel better about this? What is behind the simple task they seem so upset about? What is the story they are telling themselves? What is making them insecure about this topic?

Often times, that person isn’t trying to hurt you or intentionally upset you. Instead, they are trying to verbalize that they simply have a need. Maybe they need you to try a different communication style than your default. Maybe they have a set of supportive needs they didn’t even realize they had that they’re struggling to communicate with you.

Like in the Five Love Languages it talks about how to one person, putting away the dishes isn’t a big deal, but to the other, it relays a deeper message to them that you care enough about them to help put the dishes away.

The next person might just need a hug instead of a response. Although their words seem to want to pick a fight, they actually just need some physical touch.

Another might be nagging about being alone. They really just want you to take some time to give them your undivided attention without a phone, a tv, buddies around or even all the other kids. Sometimes just carving out an hour of individual time occasionally can change everything!

While it’s really difficult sometimes, rather than taking these conversations personal and thinking about how they make you feel, ask yourself what the other person is really trying to say. Get curious about how you can support them rather than fighting back.

At the end of the day, we all want to be loved. We just don’t all love the same. Get curious, search for the facts amongst all the feelings, make it about others, listen to learn not just to respond, have grace & love one another!

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