learned person who only talks will never
Penetrate to the inner heart of humans.
listening and suspending one's own judgment is necessary
in order to understand other people on their own
terms. As we
have noted, this is a process that requires trust and builds
things and all people, so to speak, call on us with small
or loud voices. They want us to listen. They
to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of
But we can give it to them only through the love that
We begin our lives listening to the many
sounds surrounding us in
the womb. When we are dying, the last faculty to shut
usually hearing. In between, there is so much to see
seldom take the time to cultivate the art of
uses other practices: attention, being present,
openness. It is
holy work, involving in the inventive phrase of W.A.
a Sufi musician, "making an altar out of our
-Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
is the reward you get for a lifetime
of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.
is not merely not talking, though even that
is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a
vigorous, human interest in what is being told us.
I spent most of my life waiting for my turn to
you’re at all
like me, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at
the softer reactions and looks
of surprise as you let others
completely finish their thought before you
Often, you will be allowing someone to feel listened
for the first time.
You will sense a feeling of relief coming from the
person to whom you are speaking—and a much calmer, less
between the two of you.
No need to worry that you won’t get your turn
speak—you will. In
fact, it will be more rewarding to speak because
you are speaking to will pick up on your respect
patience and will begin to do the same.
may be ineffective in my interactions with my work
my spouse, or my children because I constantly tell them
what I think,
but I never really listen to them. Unless I search out
of human interaction, I may not even know I need to
listen. Even if I
do know that in order to interact effectively with others I
to listen to them, I may not have the skill. I may not
to really listen deeply to another human being. But
knowing I need
to listen and knowing how to listen is not enough.
Unless I want
to listen, unless I have the desire, it won't be a habit in
my life. -Stephen R.
|One who cares is one who listens.
-J. Richard Clarke
|Listening, not imitation, may be the
sincerest form of flattery.
|Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most
powerful tool of healing.
It is often through the
quality of our listening and not the wisdom of
that we are able to effect the most profound changes in
the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our
an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening
creates sanctuary for
the homeless parts within the other
person. That which has been denied,
by themselves and others. That which is hidden.
In this culture the soul and the heart too often go
Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen
generously to people,
they can hear the truth in themselves,
often for the first time. And in
the silence of
listening, you can know yourself in everyone.
you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond
the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.
The golden rule of friendship is to
listen to others
as you would have them listen to you.
|The older I grow, the more I listen
to people who don't talk much.
-Germain G. Glidden
|God speaks to us every day
only we don't know how to listen.
|Friends are those rare people who ask
and then wait to hear the answer.
can hear your loved ones no matter how poorly your
ears work. I know deaf people who are able to
hear with their hearts. And I know people with
perfect ears who drive their families crazy with
their lack of hearing. I know about this
firsthand because our children used to get upset
when I read the paper and watched television while
they were talking to me. They'd say,
"Dad, you're not listening." I would
repeat all the things they said to prove I was
listening, but they told me that being able to
repeat their words was not the same thing as hearing
them. Hearing means listening attentively to
what they had to say. Today when one of the
children wants to talk to me, I put down the paper,
turn off the television and listen to what he has to
tell me. . . . I also have learned how to say
"m-m-m" in many ways and to stop trying to
solve everyone's problems. They thank me for
listening. It helps them to clarify and solve
emerges when you can listen to someone's tale of woe
and not respond with a description of your own.
greatest gift you can give another
is the purity of your attention.
first duty of love is to listen.
One of the
most important habits of a creative thinker is to be a good
listener. Stand guard at the ear-gateway to your mind,
heart, and spirit.
to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope, and
courage. Tune out gossip and resentment.
to the beautiful. Listen to the music of the
masters. Listen to the symphony of nature--the hum of the
wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf. . .
critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and
philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
with patience. Do not hurry the other person. Show
them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter
how much you may disagree. You may learn something.
with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen.
Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask
questions. Everyone has something to say which will help you
creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of
ideas. Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative
to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your
highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the
better person within you.
with depth. Be still and listen. Listen with the
ear of intuition to the inspiration of the Infinite.
|I suspect that the most basic and powerful
way to connect to another
person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the
most important thing we ever
give each other is our attention. And especially if
it's given from the heart.
When people are talking, there's no need to do anything but
Just take them in. Listen to what they're
saying. Care about it. Most
times caring about it is even more important than
understanding it. Most
of us don't value ourselves or our love enough to know
this. It has taken
me a long time to believe in the power of simply saying,
"I'm so sorry,"
when someone is in pain. And meaning it.
One of my patients told me that when she tried
to tell her story people
often interrupted to tell her that they once had something
just like that happen
to them. Subtly her pain became a story about
themselves. Eventually she
stopped talking to most people. It was just too
lonely. We connect through
listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to
let them know that
we understand, we move the focus of attention to
ourselves. When we listen,
they know we care. Many people with cancer talk about
the relief of having someone just listen.
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is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two
lives. Listening, as far as I'm concerned, is certainly a
prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying 'I
love you' is being a receptive listener.
|One thing which makes us find
so few people who appear reasonable and agreeable in conversation
is, that there is scarcely anyone who does not think more of what
they are about to say than of answering precisely what is said to
them. The cleverest and most complaisant people content themselves
with merely showing an attentive countenance, while we can see in
their eyes and minds a wandering from what is said to them, and an
impatience to return to what they wish to say; instead of
reflecting that it is a bad method of pleasing or persuading
others to be so studious of pleasing oneself; and that listening
well and answering well is one of the greatest perfections that
can be attained in conversation. -Duc de
does it mean to listen to a voice before it is spoken? It
means making space for the other, being aware of the other, paying
attention to the other, honoring the other. It means not
rushing to fill their silences with fearful speech of our own and
not trying to coerce them into saying the things that we want to
hear. It means entering empathetically into their world so
that he or she perceives you as someone who has the promise of
being able to hear another person's truth.
Parker J. Palmer
The Courage to Teach
Attentive listening is never an easy task--it consumes psychic
energy at a rate that tires and surprises me. But it is made
easier when I am holding back my own authoritative impulses.
When I suspend, for just a while, my inner chatter about what I am
going to say next, I open room within myself to receive the
more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you
will hear what is sounding outside. Only they who listen can
speak. -Dag Hammarskjold
is a silence that matches our best possibilities when we have
learned to listen to others. We can master the art of being
quiet in order to be able to hear clearly what others are saying.
. . . We need to cut off the garbled static of our own
preoccupations to give to people who want our quiet
attention. -Eugene Kennedy
cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same
listening, too, it seems to me, it is not the ear that hears, it
is not the physical organ that performs the act of inner
receptivity. It is the total person who hears.
Sometimes the skin seems to be the best listener, as it prickles
and thrills, say to a sound or a silence; or the fantasy, the
imagination: how it bursts into inner pictures as it listens
and then responds by pressing its language, its forms, into the
listening clay. To be open to what we hear, to be open in
what we say. . . . -M.C. Richards
have a saying about conferences between legal opponents:
"The side doing the talking is losing," For the
longest time I thought that the test of my value was what I had to
say. When I wasn't talking, I did listen to others, but with
half my mind figuring out what I'd say next. It's as though
I had been listening to music and just registering the melody but
not hearing the harmony, the instruments, the subtleties of
phrasing. To really listen takes active attention. To
have listened and absorbed the whole message, with all its
connotations, its unspoken and maybe unintended shadings, makes it
likelier that when you do speak, you will contribute more, and do
so with fewer words. -John Walsh
like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening
carefully. Most people never listen.
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