What did you say?

Have you had times where you were in conversation with another only to realize you had only heard half of what they said… if that?  Often we are not hearing the other because we are busy thinking about what we are going to say next.  There is a tool that you can use to become a better listener.  It is called Active Listening; which simply means that you work to understand before being understood.  You listen actively by empathizing with a summary of what you heard them say.  Empathy includes repeating in your words what they said, looking for implied feelings and stating, “you seem to be feeling…, “  and you check in by asking, “did I hear you right?” Empathy means we are not thinking about our agenda, but taking a moment to step out of our egocentric space and into the life of the other.  It means we listen with a quiet and open mind.  Many an argument has been short circuited by this one simple but powerful tool.  When two people practice this in the couple relationship emotional intimacy will blossom.

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