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  • Writer's pictureKim Colman

WHAT IS SOMETHING SMALL THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME?

IN TIMES OF STRESS, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.

This statement is very powerful.

How often do we just start to respond to someone when they start to talk about something that is bothering them? We cut them off and empathise with them about our own experiences, thinking that this will make them feel better.

Listening to someone and letting them speak, allowing them to feel heard, and just letting them tell their story, can be a very healing experience for that person.

These are skills that many of us a not familiar with and we need to be mindful of them, and they do take practice.

Some people don’t necessarily want you to solve their issues or problems, and of course you can’t do this. But, just allowing them to talk, and just listening, without interrupting, can help them to verbalise and work through their thoughts and emotions.

When someone is busy talking to us, we often listen to respond, rather than just listen to understand and allow that person to just talk freely.

Improving our listening skills to be of assistance to others takes practice and sometimes a little bit of basic knowledge.

Here are a few tips that could help you to improve your listening skills for better communication:-

❖ Adopt an open posture – sit facing the person with arms unfolded.

❖ Ask open ended questions.

❖ Remember past details that the person tells you.

❖ Show that you are a good listener by nodding occasionally.

❖ Communicate active listening with mirroring the person

❖ Listen to understand.

Supporting a family member or friend in times of stress or trauma can play a huge role in their path to recovery.

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