Updated: Mar 27
WHEN YOU ARE NOT LISTENING...
You say you understand.
Just understand and listen, then speak from empathy
Understand their experience, not just their words or the story itself
One person’s experience of something might be different than yours
You say you have an answer to my problem before I finish telling you my problem.
Or even after you finish saying the problem
If you ALREADY have an answer to my problem, then you weren’t listening to me, you were thinking about a solution
Problem solving is done with someone, not for them.
Answers can come when they’re asked for or maybe after listening and truly understanding the problem
Major dividing line for parents and kids
You cut me off before I have finished speaking
More interest in what you have to say
Sympathetic arousal, lack of patience
You finish my sentences for me.
You might think this is conveying a message of understanding, but it’s just talking over me
If you think you know what I’m going to say, you aren’t listening to MY words, you are listening to your own thoughts about my words
As we mentioned before, this is sympathetic arousal and lack of patience
You are dying to tell me something.
Then you are caught up in your own thoughts and state
What you have to say is more important
Again, sympathetic arousal
You tell me about your experiences, making mine seem unimportant.
Another technique that might seem like “understanding” but it’s actually more like comparing
You can empathize without having experienced it yourself (regardless of whether you have a similar experience or not)
Shifts the focus away from my needs
Can be read as a cue of danger: (its a potential rupture that has a story that follows about the self or other person)
“Maybe they don’t want to hear what I have to say…”
“Maybe I’m boring…”
We can commiserate about similar experiences as a method of connecting/relating later, when I’m back in my own Safe & Social state
This was a theme with the Bad Therapy Stories.
You refuse my thanks, saying you really haven’t done anything
To accept my gratitude is to HEAR me, to be connected, to feel understood
To refuse it is to negate my feelings of gratitude.
It’s a rupture. It’s a misattunement.
YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT -
Notice when you are not listening
Harry Poliak, Big Leap Coaching - http://www.connectedconsciously.com/
Parents by Choice presentation is available to watch here - https://www.justinlmft.com/parentsbychoice
Intro/Outro music & Transition Sounds by Benjo Beats - https://soundcloud.com/benjobeats