On Tuesdays I teach a 10-week class for caregivers. What a lovely group of people! They are all ages and walks of life, but all are the kind of people who get satisfaction from helping others. I brought them some cupid cupcakes for a belated Valentine's Day snack.
Today's topic was "Listening".
Did you know that:
10% of what is communicated are WORDS
55% of what is communicated is body language
35% of what is communicated is tone of voice
We listen at 125-250 words per minute and think at 1000-3000 words per minute
75% of the time, we are distracted, disinterested or self-absorbed
80% of the time, we don't remember what we hear
Less than 2% of people have had formal training in listening
What does that say about our communication through texts, emails, Facebook, etc.?
Here is a poem I shared with my group. Hope you find something meaningful in it.
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have
not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel
that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me,
strange as that might seem.
LISTEN! All I ask is that you listen. Don’t talk or do - just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 25 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper, and I can do for myself;
I am not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people - because
God is mute, and he doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. God just listens
and lets you work it out for yourself.
So please listen and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute
for your turn - and I will listen to you.