Certainly, talking with others is something that’s part of human nature. When we bottle up our feelings and don’t express them, they lead to damaging mental health effects. And, when we do express our feelings, we can better manage our lives by not letting our emotions control us. But, while it’s important to talk with others about how we feel, it’s also important to learn how to be on the receiving end and be a good listener. Learning how to be a better listener can help individuals in recovery improve their relationships, benefiting their system of support. And, get more out of supportive tools like group and individual therapies. Thus, aiding in the overall recovery process and stimulating the learning of healthy behaviors.
The Importance of Better Listening
It’s inevitable that when someone speaks, you hear what they’re saying. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re listening. Active listening is not only hearing what someone is saying, but internally digesting the material with your own inner voice. Therefore, giving you better insight into the message that someone is really trying to give. And, providing benefits to all relationships that a person may have like:
- improving self-introspection
- builds deeper connections with others
- constructs trust
- enhances recovery support from loved ones
How to be a Better Listener During Daily Life
If you want to give your relationships the benefits that listening can provide and also benefit from the therapy benefits listening brings, there are a few things you can do to practice good listening.
Some of the things you can do to practice being a better listener include:
Repeating: It may sound redundant, but repeating what others have just told you in a successful listening technique that can help you learn to better digest what people are saying. This helps to clear up any misunderstandings and help you better internally interpret what a person is truly trying to get across to you.
Listening With Your Whole Self: When you’re whole-body listening, you’re focused on the conversation. This means giving eye contact to the person you’re talking to so they know you’re listening. And, not giving in to anything that may divert your attention like your phone, things happening in the background, or your own thoughts.
Choosing Your Words With Care: A person will know you aren’t actively listening to what they’re saying if you respond with your own personal story, change the topic, or try to push advice. So, it’s important that after listening to someone speak, you choose your words carefully. Try responding with supportive words. And, if you don’t know what to say, you can say something like, “I may not understand how to help, but thank you for sharing with me”.
It’s More Than Waiting to Speak Your Turn: Many people may interpret active listening as waiting until their turn to speak. But, it’s more than that. It’s taking what someone says, digesting it internally, and truly hearing what they are trying to tell you. So, instead of waiting for your time to speak in a conversation, try focusing on what the other person is saying.
Learning Helpful Skills in Recovery With Willow Place for Women
Here at Willow Place for Women, we help women in recovery from trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse by establishing helpful tools that will assist them in their recovery journey. One of the skills we help women learn is how to be a better listener.
If you or a loved one needs help, we’re here for you. Give us a call for a confidential conversation with one of our recovery specialists today at 1-888-651-4212. And, find out more about our supportive therapies, treatment programs, and educational tools right on our website.