I see this a lot. I saw it this last week.
The times when we ask someone to let us know what is going on, how they are doing, and we shut them down with our response.
We don’t like what we are hearing, or what we are hearing is scary for us, so we quickly respond with what we believe is appropriate and shut down the conversation.
I know that sometimes people respond to our questions with things we don’t expect, and sometimes those responses sound scary. The responses can go against what we believe, what we believe is best for the other person, or sometimes, we believe that we know what is going on better than they do.
The challenge lies in that we asked the question. We asked to be brought into whatever is going on. We don’t then get to determine the answer.
We don’t get to determine that we don’t like what we hear and so we are going to try to shift it.
We need to first hear it. We need to be open, even if it is scary, to listen.
Once we have heard the entirety of what is said, then we are free to respond. But how often do we start formulating our response in our heads before the person is done talking?
I know; you know what they are going to say because you’ve heard it before.
But, what if? What if you haven’t heard what they need you to hear? What if you were able to listen without formulating your answer in your head so that you hear what is being told to you?
Do you think that the conversation might be different?
Is it possible to create a deeper or closer relationship?