Having teenage children in my late 50s has challenged me to try entirely new forms of communication. “Like,” I now know all kinds of new texting acronyms and slang words. I’m also practicing being a better listener by consciously stopping whatever I’m doing, focusing my attention with smiling eyes and not saying anything…unless asked a direct question. I’ll be real: I fail plenty because conversations don’t always start at convenient times. Yet when I succeed, the reward is often an unanticipated hug…and that makes me want to try harder.

The goal of this listening exercise is to not just listen—but to shift into a receptive hearing mode while practicing it. If you want to try it yourself, don’t let anyone know you’re doing this. Just be as ordinary as possible; attentively listening, but without speaking. Answer any questions with as few words as possible and do not attempt to get the other person to ask you a question. Don’t give the impression that you’re suffering, zoning out or that you deserve a reward because all your listening is causing a bad headache. 

Doing this exercise helps us realize a few things: how sometimes we might rush to speak because we are in a hurry; or, think we have all the answers; or because we’ve seen an expression on another’s face that we interpret as misunderstanding or confusion– we think we must interrupt and elaborate to find immediate resolution. 

When I succeed in making my silence last, I feel stronger. Others feel heard.  The longer I make my silences last, not just listening, but truly trying to hear what another is saying, the more thoughtful and purposeful the conversation seems to be. 

PS:  The ONLY way you can be assured of seeing my daily posts is by going to my Instagram page and liking the posts or going to my website SilverDisobedience.Rocks or even easier SD.Rocks  Just because you follow someone on social media does not mean you are shown every post! ✨

@DianGriesel is aka @SilverDisobedience — the author of The Silver Disobedience Playbook (link in my bio or buy one at amazon!) ✨ I’m a Perception Analyst who shares my Daily Meditations for other Ageless, Passionate & Curious People.  Modeling info @Wilhelminamodels —other info in my bio & on my websites.