“We try so hard to hide everything we’re really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most. People try to bottle up their emotions, as if it’s somehow wrong to have natural reactions to life.”
~Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday~
Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood. Most people listen, with no intent of understanding, but with the intent to reply. Demanding to be understood is a way of saying “YOU open your mind for me”. Wanting to understand the other person is a way of saying “I’ll open my mind for YOU”. The two are so different in meaning and tone that it’s hard to do both at the same time. Therefore we generally focus on one or the other. Most people want only to be understood, but it’s impossible for others to understand them unless the person first understands themselves.
You have two ears and one mouth, so listen to people sincerely. When we listen with the intent to understand others, rather than with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building. Seeking to understand takes kindness; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness lies in balancing the two.