Connecting in a new way: Listening is the new hug!🧡

A hug and human connection is the first thing we do if someone is struggling!

Not been able to extend our hand to someone struggling is alien to us all as human beings, not been held ourselves is hard too. We’re adjusting in our world to supporting and been supported in a very different way. We’re becoming more aware of how we use our words to support. Connecting and relating well with those around us doesn’t just happen, they’re skills we develop, grow, and practice.

Listening is a fine art. It doesn’t only involve us staying quiet while the other is talking, it requires us to really hear. Most times people are listening to respond rather than listen. It’s kind to offer support, but offering advice is not listening, not supporting. It’s advice giving, and it puts you in a superior position. That person is already vulnerable, don’t dis-empower them further. The rule of thumb here is that advice is offered when invited, even then, I’d think twice about dishing it out. Encouraging the person to evaluate what they can do is empowering, and empowered people empower people.

Living life in a way where we self evaluate what we want/need is a new way of living. The world runs on others evaluating others, it’s not helpful. Its condescending for one human to believe they have the answers for another. The only expert on your life – is YOU!

You have all your solutions, and maybe sometimes you don’t want a solution, you just want to be heard and listened too with kindness. Without been told what to do. It closes a person down. Keep talking, keep sharing what’s going on for you, and keep walking away from people who are trying to advise you. If someone wants an interventions, they’ll ask. And if you really want to hear what’s going on for another human being, you have to stop talking about yourself for a while.

“Don’t tell when you can ask”! I try to live my life by this simple sentence.

I try very hard not to tell another what to do with their life. I trust that they’re very capable people, and I ask them what they feel would work for them in their life. They know themselves better than I know them. It’s empowering. Not offering advice is a skill set in itself. “You need to get some therapy” – “do you feel some therapy would help”? “You need to read this book” – “I found this book useful, would you like to borrow it”? “You need to take more exercise” – “do you feel exercise would be helpful”? Can you hear the difference? One is kind, the other is anything but.

One comes from a place of care, the other from a place of control. And as human beings we will pull away from control and move towards care. We live in a world of external control where everyone has an opinion and a solution for other people’s problems.

What if we just sorted out our own difficulties, and became a support for those as they’re sorting out their problems. We’re creative and powerful as human beings. Maybe we don’t want an answer, a solution, maybe we just wanted someone to listen in a caring way towards us. That space of kindness and care will create an environment where the person heard will start to problem solve themselves.

We are internally motivated as human beings. Look at everything we got through in our lives? We did a pretty good job didn’t we? If we haven’t got our solutions right now, maybe we’re just taking a rest. Maybe we’re tired. Maybe we just need to offload. The solutions will come. They did before. They will again. What helps me?

I find the people in my life who listen. Not the ones who want to put me straight back into the driving seat. I’m too tired to drive. I just want to be heard. When we’re heard as human beings, we become creative. No judgement, no advice, just listening.

We can’t give those around us a hug today, we can’t wrap them up in our arms if they’re struggling, and we can’t have that comfort either if we need it, but we could give them the biggest hug of all. Just listen. No advice. No criticism. No judgement. You’re not an expert on their life.

When you feel you want to jump in and offer remedies and solutions, just remind yourself to keep quiet. You might be amazed at what you’ll learn. People are amazing and quiet genius. We’re built to move towards solutions. But to get there, we need to be heard and valued first. No interruptions. No patronizing advice.

Listening is easy, shutting up is the hard bit. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed how close it brings you to those around you in your world. Take it on as a new way of hugging. It feels more connecting than any hug I ever got.

We’re always here to listen. It’s our way of hugging you today.

Listening is the new hug!

Big hug! Love,

Norah Finn 🧡