Do you sometimes feel like you are speaking, but whoever you are speaking to is not getting your message? Do you notice that people look off or seem to be distracted when you are talking? Maybe it goes over their head or they simply nod or mumble so it is painfully obvious they aren’t listening?
And the bigger question is, are you guilty of doing the same thing? In our utlra-distracted world, we are taught that multi-tasking makes us more productive. And for those in recovery, learning how to live a new life, this can be a horrible model to follow. As we learn new ways to live, the key is less, not more.
Learning to how to be a good listener is more important than just about any life-skill you can learn. Learning to be a good listener actually fits in with recovery as we continue to seek to put others before ourselves.
Here are a couple of fixes to help you become a better listener.
When you are listening to someone, try to be still and focused on the person who is speaking. Limit your distractions, lay your phone face down or put it in your pocket. Don’t look around at televisions or other people or anything else. Try to focus on the person’s eyes and what they are saying.
Periodically, summarize or paraphrase what the person is saying. It’s simple to say, “so you are saying…” or “am I hearing you right, …”. This lets the people know that you are engaged, you care and want to make sure you understand what they are saying. This is a tremendous tool to show people that you care about them and you love them…because you listen to what they say.
We all desire for someone to hear us. This is especially true for those in addiction and in recovery. So often, drug abuse is brought on because people don’t feel heard or that anyone cares enough to listen. Or even more so, that what they have to say isn’t important.
Becoming a good listener not only helps the speaker, but it helps you. You will be amazed at how people are attracted to you, want to hang out with you. Because people love to talk about themselves and want to be heard. By simply checking your ego, becoming a better listener, you show people that you care and that you are a good friend. This is attractive.
San Diego Sober Living is a sober living in San Diego California who seeks to help women stay sober through an active community. If you or someone you know is looking for a positive sober community, please contact us today. We can help because we have been there.