Monday, April 11, 2011

Non-Defensive Listening

When one is angry at a friend, loved one, or spouse, a common tendency is to be fixated on the felt emotions or issues at hand. Endless arguing. Flinging accusations. Blaming each other.  As a result, one is no longer hearing what the other is saying nor caring about the other's pain. It's a primitive level, intending to wound and humiliate. You and I all need to learn to listen closely to what the other person is saying. It's feeling with another person, imagining yourself in the other person's shoes, grasping the other's point of view. Psychotherapists call it "non-defensive listening." Now you ask, is it possible to act like that when you feel so strongly? Yes it's possible if you remember that behind the harshness, the anger, the blaming, etc reflects a "wounded child" within the other person. It's an only way to start healing a broken relationship. Difficult, but not impossible.

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