simple strategy has had remarkable results for
virtually everyone I know who has tried it. The
almost immediate results include increased patience,
added perspective, and, as a side benefit, more
gratitude and respect from others.
strategy itself is remarkably simple. It
involves nothing more than pausing--breathing--after
the person to whom you are speaking is finished.
At first, the time gap between your voices may seem
like an eternity--but in reality, it amounts to only a
fraction of a second of actual time. You will
get used to the power and beauty of breathing, and you
will come to appreciate it as well. It will
bring you closer to, and earn you more respect from,
virtually everyone you come in contact with.
You'll find that being listened to is one of the
rarest and most treasured gifts you can offer.
All it takes is intention and practice.
you observe the conversations around you, you'll
notice that, often, what many of us do is simply wait
for our turn to speak. We're not really
listening to the other person, but simply waiting for
an opening to express our own view. We often
complete other people's sentences, or say things like,
"Yeah, yeah," or "I know," very
rapidly, urging them to hurry up so that we can have
our turn. It seems like talking to one another
is sometimes more like sparring back and forth like
fighters or Ping-Pong balls than it is enjoying or
learning from the conversation.
harried form of communication encourages us to
criticize points of view, overreact, misinterpret
meaning, impute false motives, and form opinions, all
before our fellow communicator is even finished
speaking. No wonder we are so often annoyed,
bothered, and irritated with one another.
Sometimes, with our poor listening skills, it's a
miracle that we have any friends at all!
spent most of my life waiting for my turn to
speak. If you're at all like me, you'll be
pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of
surprise as you let others completely finish their
thought before you begin yours. Often, you will
be allowing someone to feel listened to for the very
first time. You will sense a feeling of relief
coming from the person to whom you are speaking--and a
much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of
you. No need to worry that you won't get your
turn to speak--you will. In fact, it will be
more rewarding to speak because the person you are
speaking to will pick up on your respect and patience
and will begin to do the same.
cheerful book aims
to make us stop and smell--
if not roses--whatever is sitting
in front of our noses. Don't Sweat
the Small Stuff offers 100
meditations designed to
make you appreciate being
alive, keep your emotions
(especially anger and
dissatisfaction) in proper
perspective, and cherish
other people as the unique
miracles they are. It's an
owner's manual of the heart,
and if you follow the
directions, you will be a