Learning To Listen

What am I, crazy? Why am I writing an article about listening in a blog that's focused on emotions around money?

There are a couple reasons. I'll get to them shortly, but first, let me clarify what I'm referring to.

I'm talking about listening to other people talk.

For many of us, when we are in a conversation, we're kind of eagerly looking for opportunities to get a word in and say something. We want to express our thoughts and feelings.

Sometimes what happens, though, is that we end up imposing our thoughts and feelings on the person. When that happens, it can end up invalidating their own feelings. They might feel like they're not being heard.

The way to avoid doing that is to listen with intention.

That means when you listen to someone, you do these things:

1) You give them the space to say and feel what they want. Slow down and relax. There's no rush to jump in. Don't interrupt. Really focus on what they're saying and give them your undivided attention.

2) You don't judge them. You accept them and their personal feelings or thoughts. You may not agree, but you allow them to express their unique point of view without judging them.

3) You don't try to fix them or their situation. Even if they are telling you about a struggle they're going through, you don't impose your feelings on their situation. You simply listen and give them the space to say what they want.

This type of listening is typically greatly appreciated by people who are talking. The reason is because it makes them feel supported.

If I listen to someone and give them the space to talk and emote without judging them or fixing them, it means I accept them and I support them. It also means they can feel safe talking to me.

If you've been listened to in this way before, then you know it can be a wonderful thing! When two people have a dialogue where they both listen with intention, it's a way of mutually supporting each other. It's a beautiful thing. People supporting people.

Ok, so how does this type of listening tie in with emotions about money?

Well to me, learning to listen is a foundational piece for approaching life in a different way. It's learning to give space. It's learning to accept. It's learning to focus with undivided attention.

Those are the exact skills we can use when emotions come up around money.

We can accept the emotions and give the emotions space. Rather than chasing them off, we open up to them and allow them to express themselves. Those emotions are coming from a part of you that needs support!

And we can give the emotions our undivided attention. We can drop everything, including thoughts, and focus squarely on the sensation of the emotion itself. We can invite it in (knowing that it's safe to feel the emotion), and give it gentle, loving attention, just like we would when we're listening to someone with intention.

So learning to listen is like a foundational element of tending to our emotions around money.

Another reason it can help to practice this type of listening: if you choose to ever reach out to me for support, I want to make sure it's clear how I support. I listen. I give you the space to say what you want, without judgment, and I accept you.

And I typically like to ask for you to give me some support and listen to me while I share something too!

Want to try it out? We could have a brief phone call. We could take turns. One person goes first while the other listens (maybe 3-5 minutes), and then we switch.

If you want to try it out with me, I'm game. I just love mutual support. The more you practice it, the more it becomes a habit, and suddenly it's like you're opening up to life in general and giving it space and acceptance. It can be transformational.

If you have any questions or feedback, I'd love to hear from you.

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