According to compassion research, the number one way people feel they have been treated with compassion is when the other person listened to them.
JOURNAL PROMPT: How would my best friend/family/coworkers describe my listening skills (or lack thereof)?
Before you continue reading, grab your journal, take 5-10 minutes to reflect on the journal prompt, and then keep reading.
Listening to understand rather than listening to reply is key. Listening with compassion means we listen to understand. It means that we are genuinely open to hearing whatever the person needs to say when they are suffering.
We aren’t focused on our reply. We are focused on what the person is saying. We are present with them. We create a safe, nonjudgmental space for them to share their thoughts and feelings, even if they don’t quite know what they are exactly.
We listen to understand what the person is experiencing, what they are trying to sort through or figure out, what they need, and so forth. We aren’t listening to reply with advice, our opinions, our experiences, etc. (unless they have specifically asked for it)
Like the research says, the ultimate way that people felt cared for when they were in pain (emotional, physical, psychological, etc) was when they were listened to… when they felt heard.
When have you been offered compassionate support through genuine listening? What was that like for you?
Reflect on those questions and come visit me on Instagram to share your experience.
compassion communication skills self-worth self-love love yourself depression