There are two things that most people love naturally. People love to talk about themselves and they love to hear others talk about them. That’s right. Most likely, your favorite subject is you. I know mine is me. Be honest.
Since we have a natural love for ourselves, we have to work at loving others. I am not talking about the feeling of love. I mean the action of love, real love, putting love for someone else above love for self. (1 Cor 13:4-8)
As a counselor, a common complaint I hear from people whose relationship is in trouble is the other person is not listening. “He never listens to me.” “She doesn’t care what I say.” “He doesn’t value my opinions.” “I’ve told her that a million times.” Most relationships would be much better if people listened more.
How are your relationships? Are you feeling lonely?
If you learn how to improve your hearing, you’ll have fewer arguments, you’ll make more friends, you’ll be a lot wiser, you’ll be less emotional and you’ll even be more healthy. One Doctor has done research that has revealed that every time you listen your blood pressure goes down. Every time you speak your blood pressure goes up.
The best way to show someone you care is to be a good listener. When I first started counseling others I had to train myself to be a better listener. I was pretty good at telling people what to do. God had gifted me with the ability to coach someone towards emotional and spiritual health, but I had to learn to listen.
The Bible tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak. (James 1:19)
You learn more when you listen, and you show others that you care. By listening to someone you give him value. When you give a person value, you make him feel better about himself. When you make a person feel better about himself, he will feel better about you. When a person feels better about you, what you have to say becomes more important to him. When you make that person feel important, he will want to be around you, and you won’t be lonely.
Since sin seperated mankind from God it has been a deep need for man to feel appreciated, valued. You can help meet that need in your spouse, your kids, a friend or anyone by becoming a better listener.
In part 2 of “Feeling Lonely – Maybe You’re Not Listening” we will look at some natural errors we make in listening.
Question? How do you feel when someone is not listening to you?