Listening and Acknowledgment

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.
Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is
our attention.. A loving silence often has far more power to heal
and to connect than the most well-intentioned words."
~ Rachel Naomi Remen


You so often don't really listen. You are thinking about something else while the other person is talking, for example, like what you are going to say next, or about what you are going to eat for dinner. Rarely do you really hear them, really listen to them.

One of the main things that we crave as human being is to be heard, to be truly seen, to be understood. Rarely does that craving get met. An amazing thing happens when you really feel you are being listened to. You can express yourself, understand yourself, you feel respected, valued, your passion and clarity have a fertile ground on which to land, rather than being met with deaf or preoccupied ears.

Try it out, just once, today:

  • Simply listen when someone is talking to you. It doesn't have to be your partner, it can be anyone. Just listen.
  • Don't think about your grocery list, the funny way their mouth moves, or your response.
  • Keep your attention on them, and if you notice your attention wander, bring it back to what they are saying.
  • Observe what happens – how do you feel? What do you notice about the other person?
  • Listening is a fundamental, under-utilized, powerful tool in relationships.


"Present your family and friends with their eulogies now –
they won't be able to hear how much you love them and
appreciate them from inside the coffin."

Acknowledgement can take the form of a compliment, a thanks, a recognition, an approval.

It is the act of generously drawing attention to what is so, about yourself or another. But it must be genuine. Acknowledgment can't be fake or faked. The other person can smell it if you are faking. But true, honest acknowledgement is the surest, quickest way to open a heart, melt a heart. It is a great gift.

Acknowledgement is another fundamental tool, often overlooked, due to rampant stinginess. What's the stingy bit? Perhaps you've felt that if you paid someone else a compliment, it would somehow point out a deficiency in you, or that to put someone up by default puts you down. Or if you talked about good fortune, it would be diminished.

These are all grave misunderstandings. To keep good things to yourself shrinks their goodness. Expressing them, celebrating them, makes their goodness exponential.

Acknowledging what is so is always a blessing. Acknowledgement is the ground from which real communication, true trust and sweet intimacy can spring.

To get a better handle on these and practice them both in your actual life, I invite you to sign up for my E-Course, as there are exercises for listening and for acknowledgement in weeks 3 and 7.

Go on to Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
Back to Relationship With Others

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