Listening is a total game-changer when it comes to our relationships. Seriously!
Have you ever realised that when someone speaks, there’s this automatic thing that happens. We slap on our own personal lens and interpret their words through it. It’s like we’re viewing their message through our unique filter.
But, when it comes to situations like separation or divorce, this lens can be seriously tinted with mistrust and defensiveness. It’s like we’re primed to hear things in a way that sets us up to argue back, to prove our point. You know how that goes, right? It’s like a never-ending game of “I said this,” “You said that,” “I’m right,” “You’re wrong.” Exhausting!
But here’s the goal we should be aiming for when it comes to listening is: to respond, not react.
Listening = Responding
When you respond, you’re really tuning in to what the other person is saying. You’re not just itching to fire back and prove that you’re right.
So, let’s take a real-life example. Picture this: one parent is running late for a custody changeover.
The knee-jerk reaction might sound like this: “Why are you always late? The kids are so upset. You never think about anyone but yourself!”
A reaction is: “I was stuck in traffic. You knew I’d be here. It’s not my fault if the kids got upset.”
Now, flip the script. That is, respond instead of reacting:
“I’m really sorry about the delay. I know it must have been frustrating for you and the kids. I’ll try my best to be on time next time. There were some traffic issues I couldn’t control. Let me talk to the kids and explain.”
See the difference? It’s like choosing a different path, one that doesn’t lead to more conflict. Because, let’s be real, the ones who feel the impact of our reactions are often our kids. And no parent wants that.
So, if you want to get better at responding rather than reacting, I’m here to lend a helping hand. Just reach out!