“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
— Ralph Nichols
Communication is important! In order to make friends, build a relationship, work, lead, follow, have peace of mind etc.. we need to communicate. I would say that approximately 90% of the problems that do exist with personal relationships is due to misunderstandings that are borne due to a lack of proper communication. There could be a number of reasons for this and some of these are: fear of what others might think of you if you say what you think, a difficulty in expressing yourself, or being overly abrasive that you make it hard for anyone else to share their opinion.
In this post I wanted to cover more the importance of being a good listener. I am sure that when you are full of your subject or you feel strongly about a topic that your emotions are running high to the point that whilst the other person you are “communicating” with is attempting to share their view on a matter you are already formulating your rebuttal to what they are trying to say. This might be OK if you are participating in a debate, but if you are trying to resolve something, it can tend to lead to nowhere. By doing so, you are totally unable to know what the other person is saying thus blocking out any chance of finding common ground (if there be any). You are also communicating through doing so that you simply are not interested in what the other person has to say, which leads to total communication breakdown and relationship problems.
I am from Houston but live a good part of my life in Italy and Italians are very expressive and emotional people. I love Italy, the people are fun, the food is fantastic, the country is filled with history and beauty, but if there is one thing that I find very difficult to get used to, it is that to be heard you have to talk louder than the other guy! I loath talking over someone, and find it rude and irritating when others do it to me. So I know what it is like to feel as though others are not interested in what I might have to say. It can be very discouraging as we all think that our idea is the very best! Ha!
The art of listening is a very important one in order to make any relationship work, whether it be marriage, friendship, or work related, you simply cannot pretend that your partners have to hear only what you have to say. Then, once they are granted a platform to speak, make sure that you genuinely listen, otherwise you just might miss out on some very important information! No one person is the all-in-all! Whether you like it or not, you need others and well yes, others do need you! So be there for them and give a listening ear!