I have always been a great listener, but I have not always used that power wisely.
For many years, I listened closely to what people said and did, with the intention to deceive them.
I was a young kid struggling with depression, and I desperately did not want anyone to know what I was truly thinking or feeling. And so I told people what I thought they wanted to hear in many situations, in order to avoid ‘being discovered’, at all costs.
I learned later that these costs were indeed very high, as I hurt people around me, and myself.
I do not regret any of that as it helped shape me into who I am today.
And today, I listen, but with a different intention: to understand.
As much as possible, I resist the common urge to talk, or show how much I know, or judge. (I’m not perfect here, but I try.)
But if you can listen with the intention to understand, well, you have a superpower at your fingertips.
Most people, if you truly listen, will open their hearts to you, and that is a very beautiful thing.
It lays the groundwork for collaboration, healthy relationships, and love.