A big part of building healthy, solid relationships with people is making an effort to gain a deep knowledge and understanding of the other person. I'm not talking about favourite rugby teams or favourite colours. I'm talking about peeling back the layers and learning who the person is deep down inside.
When we allow a person to show their vulnerability, express their needs and their dreams, show you their triggers and their scars, we achieve a relationship that doesn't just have a solid foundation but also true depth.
Can I point out the obvious? You're never going to get to know a person inside and out if you don't keep your own mouth closed and listen sometimes. And I'm not talking about listening to respond. I'm talking about listening to understand. In the excitement of interacting with a person we enjoy it's so natural to want to share our stories but communication is a two way street.
You know how people claim to have a bad memory? You know how they forget that you tell them things? That's not a bad memory. Those are bad listening skills. If you listen to someone speak with the intention of understanding them, you're not likely to forget anything important to them.
Listening is the highest form of respect you can give to someone you love. It starts with each one of us. Take the time today to really listen and spend a bit less time talking. Let's see where it goes.