"Yet a time is coming
and has now come when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the
kind of worshipers the Father seeks." - John 4:23

My Heavenly Daddy is healing
me from the inside out.

Transparency is Real.
Many times painful.

Daddy let me be secure in You only!

Monday, July 13, 2009

HEY, PAY ATTENTION !!


Does it irk you, as it does me, when you are talking to someone and you know you do not have their full attention?

You are trying to share something whether personal or work related and they are doing three things at once and not even giving you eye contact. Then you get the famous “uh-huhs” chimed back at you all along knowing they never heard you. Or the best one yet, that they talk over you, and not let you finish a sentence in order that they are heard and the focus is put back on them?

Listening is a gift.

I used to struggle big time with listening. Only because I was very insecure with my opinions and answers and I was thinking of a response that would come over correct and perfect so I would be appreciated. Meanwhile, missing entirely what the other person was saying.

I have improved immensely over the years my listening skills and am still a work in progress with acknowledging that I do have an opinion that is worth hearing. But, on occasion , I will catch myself not paying attention and paying more attention to how I will respond.

The devotional below shares how the few individuals in our lives that do listen to us we can appreciate and benefit from greatly.



Listen carefully to my words, let this be the consolation you give me. Job 21:1

Listening should be easy. But it is not. At a minimum, listening means that we have to be quiet. We cannot listen when we are talking. Not talking is the hard part. There are many reasons for this. We prefer talking over listening because it gives us a sense of control. We can control the silences between words by choosing when to talk. Since silences of even a few seconds can cause our anxiety to increase, we fill the silence with words even when we really have nothing to say.

It is a remarkable experience to have someone really listen -- to have someone's undivided attention and interest. When someone listens, they communicate to us on a very deep level that we are valuable. Their listening breaks our isolation and aloneness. And it decreases the fears which come when our thoughts and feelings are confused. Talking out loud in the presence of a person who listens carefully allows us to gain clarity and perspective. Gradually, being listened to can begin to convince us that we are worth someone's attention and worth being loved.

When someone listens with respect and acceptance we are comforted and consoled. Our pain is soothed. Our burden is lightened.

Thank you, Lord, for those who listen to me.
And thank you for the people who trust me enough to allow me to listen to them.
Give me the courage to talk honestly.
Give me the grace to listen well. Amen.

Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan

39 comments:

  1. Absolutely awesome and so true... all of it.

    I have learned how to listen since I started going to CoDA meetings, almmost a year ago. During the sharing portion of the meeting, one person talks and no one else is supposed to interupt or respond in any way. When they are done, all that is said is "thanks for sharing."

    At first, it was so hard. I was half-listening and half-planning what I would say... even though I couldn't say anything! After a while I grew to love listening without feeling like I was required to respond. I can really listen.

    The other side of this is that when I share, I know I can say anything I need to say, be heard, and no one is going to criticize me, tell me what I should be doing or thinking, give me advice or feel the need to consol me. I can speak completely freely.

    Sometimes, when others speak, I find a response begging to be said. I have learned that the things I most want to say to someone else are probably the very things I most need to hear myself.

    Listening... a wonderful art.

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  2. Most people, in my opinion are not able to listen because they can not control the freight train of their thoughts long enough to remember what argument, reply or discourse was packed in which box car.

    I love when the person in front of me makes me listen as closely as if I were reading. My mind filled only with the words presented me as I look into their eyes so I can truly understand what boxcar they are unloading at the moment.

    Have you ever noticed how beautiful and expressive most peoples eyes are as they speak with you?

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  3. This should be hung in everyone's cubicle. Yes, it irks me beyond belief. It's the rudest form of dismissive behavior when someone multitasks and you're just one of the many. Nice blog.

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  4. .
    Well put you two.

    Both of your comments are very insightful.

    "The Walking Man" love your freight train analogy and just to quote, "the eyes are the windows to the soul."

    "Shen" seems like you have come a long way and that truly must be a great feeling!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Madison, you snuck in on me as I was typing my previous comment. Yes, I agree it can be very rude to even pretend you are even remotely concerned with what the other person is saying.

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  6. This is so very true. I so agree with you sweetie, it is beyond rude not to listen when someone is talking to you.

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  7. JBR- I've always had a terrible time listening and it is quite rude. I've tried to be better but it is a struggle. It's just so hard to keep my mind from wandering. Thanks for the friendly reminder. ~rick

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  8. This was a breath of fresh air..

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  9. It is very hard to try to listen to someone with your full attention. Sometimes, the other person takes forever to speak, too, so the listener starts losing patience. It takes practice and I need to learn it myself :) Thanks for the reminder. God bless.

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  10. Truer words could have not be spoken. Listening is an art for we should all take a class in to become better at.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  11. Listening is something I've conciously tried to get better at. It's been said that most people don't listen, but rather, wait to talk. Listening is a great gift a person can learn to give to people around them. I love what I once heard someone say: "I hear better with my mouth closed." And learn better too. It has taken time, but now I genuinely love to hear people talk about their feelings and their lives.

    As for multi-tasking, it is everywhere, and it says, "what I am doing is more important than what you are saying." I lost a friendship because I felt I never had her full attention.

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  12. Listening to someone, really listening, is such a gift for the giver and the receiver!! I had a spiritual director who was able to totally focus on the person in front of him that he wouldn't even know or see who else was there waiting to talk to him. As a spiritual director, I try to follow his example. I need God's grace for that! And so I pray.

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  13. An old saying, but a true one...listen to all, as you will find even the meek and forgotten have a tale to tell
    In my books, you rock, gal!..Roan..hugs

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  14. I love to listen, but I love to talk, too! My hang up is beginning to talk when someone else begins at the same time - I try to let them speak first. But, yes, it irks me a great deal when I'm trying to say something to a brick wall.

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  15. Most of the time I am a good listener but sometimes my mind wanders. I feel it's hard to stay present all the time. Sarah

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  16. Wonderful post. Thank you for listening to me!

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  17. A good listener is a VALUABLE friend!!
    Andrea

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  18. The prayer is beautiful.

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  19. I try very hard to be a good listener. When my mind sometimes wanders, I hope to catch it quickly, and I will then ask the person to repeat what they just said. People don't mind. They're glad to know I really am trying to hear them.

    PG

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  20. Very disrespectful when you are confiding in a friend and there mind is miles away. I hate that!

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  21. Oh gosh...again, WHAT did you say?

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  22. I love this reminder thank you JBR!

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  23. This is why I hate cell phones . People seem to talk over me and I know sometime they don't mean to. I like this entry.

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  24. it annoys me too when i can quite obviously see a person is not listening. i then quite obviously stop talking and walk away, that gets their attention....

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  25. Yepp, it is so important to be herad, knowing someone is listening with all his heart. Equally important I found listening to myself. With all my heart.
    JBR, thanks for your kind words on my todays post. Tons of hugs

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  26. I like your blog. My parents are this way. They only hear themselves when I try and tell them something. Makes me vey angry.

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  27. This blog is a blessing to fall upon. Well, really God led me here I'm sure. Will take the time to visit your posts and see what you have to offer.

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  28. stuck-in-the-middleJuly 14, 2009

    It's troubling to have someone talk over you and not listen. My sister is that way.

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  29. I love listening and focusing on others problems. It seems to take away my own at that moment. My problem is after listening, and I'm a pretty intense listener, I want to FIX everything and I can't. I also get extremely irritated when I need someone to listen to me and they aren't giving me their full attention. Great blog!!

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  30. My boss does that all the time. Every part of him is busy except his ears. Well, one of these days I am going to say something that would have turned his business around, he will have missed it. I will give the gem to someone else.

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  31. I too have struggled with listening as well. It has gotten a bit better with healing and time.

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  32. Good point I hate when people uh-huh you or talk over you. I do have good listening skills and I owe it to years of customer service training and work. It takes a while but it come.

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  33. be quick to listen, be slow to speak.

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  34. I completely agree. I have experienced that and I too have done that to others. Thanks for the post.

    I am hosting the blog carnival this month. Come join in if you would like. hugs, mile 191

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  35. @ The walking man:
    Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to LOOK at the person when they're talking.
    I seem to have a hard time with that. It doesn't mean I'm not listening...
    I actually find it easier to listen when I'm not engaged with someone's face. I am so visually obsessed that I tend to lose my train of thought (their words) when I focus on their eyes.

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  36. Wow, thank you!
    That prayer is one that I need to use! It is truly amazing how my own thoughts become clear by just speaking to someone who really listens!

    I am usually good at listening, but sometimes I find my mind just takes off in another direction all by itself. That is SO upsetting, and I'm sure the person who is talking does not appreciate it either. I feel powerless to change it, but I know that doesn't mean I'm helpless! This prayer should help. :)

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  37. I just read Prayer Girl's response. What a simple, straightforward way to handle the awkwardness when I find my mind off somewhere else! I've found it true that most people appreciate honesty. Thank you, Prayer Girl!

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  38. I find with most of the people in my life, I am the listener and they really don't care when I actually talk.

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  39. I was speaking to a therapist once and I could tell she was not listening to me. She made it very clear when she kept closing her eyes and watching the clock. All I kept thinking is I spend $150.00 to come speak to you I want your full attention. Then I met someone else that was a therapist but cost nothing and she was an amazing listener and always said the right thing. She really opened my eyes to many things I needed in my life.

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