the faithful ramblings a late bloomer. . .

the faithful musings of a four letter word user on a quest for authenticity.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Listen Up

One of the pervasive thoughts I’ve had over the last few months that people just need to be heard.  We, as humans, have an innate need to feel understood and that need is often satiated by having our thoughts and concerns heard.  

One of my perceived weaknesses is being diplomatic in difficult situations.  I can often be too blunt and want to just cut to the chase, but I have recently been seeing how LISTENING can be quite the diplomatic tact and I am starting to really see how it is no coincidence that the word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT. 

In my work recently, I’ve had several situations where someone came to me completely pissed off at a person or about a situation.  Rather than participating in the conversation, I just listened and as they were winding down, the blather-er had come to one of two conclusions. Either it wasn’t such a big deal OR they suddenly grasped the root of the problem and felt like they could deal with it.  

The vent session enabled them to deal with the problem.  

They get to that conclusion by verbally drawing out all of their opinions and feelings.  Once their thoughts or opinions are out there, the realization comes that it is really not such a big deal or suddenly they can see where the offender was coming from.

So often we just need to vent, in order to process the situation.  Through the processing, we evaluate the scope of the problem and whether or not it is really relevant and/or we diagnose the root of the problem.  With that diagnosis, we can then attack at the root and solve the problem.

We all need someone to vent to although we are generally not stoked about being the one who is being vented to.  It’s certainly  no fun to listen to someone go on and on about a problem but I would encourage you to give this a whirl when you are next faced with an unhappy camper.

Please let me know if you have any of you, too, have seen this in your journeys?  I'm interested in any and all feedback on this one!


  1. so true. I loved the listen/silent thing. it's funny that i have been reading about this listening tactic, as a way for toddlers to feel heard and accepting of our suggestion or command, and it works for just about everyone.

  2. thank you for commenting stephanie! great correlation there! aren't we all just toddling along the best we can?