If we are honest with ourselves and really think about what we are doing when we purport to be listening to others when they are speaking to us, we typically find that we are actually not listening to understand, but rather we are listening in order to help formulate a response. This, of course, is not listening at all; it is, however, the dominant way in which most people communicate with one another. Active listening, on the other hand, is the ability to be present with that person in order to fully immerse ourselves into what is being communicated to us. This obviously means paying attention to the content of what is being said, but it is also the ability to notice body language and tone in order to paint a more accurate understanding of what is being communicated to us. This ability sounds somewhat simple to employ, and it is, but the ability to stick to actively listening consistently takes determination, patience, and selflessness. Often times our conversations are directed by what we want to gain from the situation or conversation, and this is the marker of a one-way connection. In order to foster healthy and long standing relationships, we must be able to view these conversations as opportunities to learn more about the person we are conversing with, and also an opportunity to grow from the experience of really hearing what someone else is saying.
We can actually put our skills in active listening to the test by trying out new ways of communicating with others. Chances are, in the first 5 minutes of attempting this exercise we will begin to really recognize the way in which we don’t listen actively. When engaged in an important conversation, try and state back to the other individual not just the content of what they had said, but also the feeling-tones that were attached to their statement as this will ensure that we are participating in listening, and it will convey to the other individual the depth of which we are able to grasp what they were trying to communicate. Not only will this type of communication helps our relationships to flourish in a way we have never experienced, but actively listening on a consistent basis will help us to accrue knowledge and wisdom in ways we couldn’t have before.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.