4 Ways To Be A Good Listener To Our Peers – Thrive Global

Posted: October 2, 2019 at 4:43 am

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Having someone who is willing to hear us out allows us to feel less alone not only in our mental health journey, but through life overall. Here are 4 ways we can be a better friend and listener to those around us:

Beingable to have someone who is able to listen is important. In her book Is ThereNo Place For Me?[1],Kate Richards provides an example of how we can approach the conversation:

Do you want to tell me about it? Wecan sit and talk. We can just sit. Ill sit here with you and hold you in thisspace and Ill listen because I care and I wont let go of you until youreready to walk in the world again on your own.

Howcan we be attentive? We should not be on our phones as our friend is sharingabout a tough week they had. We should only pursue the conversation furtheronly if they are comfortable talking about it. Non-verbal language such asnodding can assure our friend that we are following the story they are telling.If we are comfortable, they too would be comfortable to share. If we were fidgetyand acting uninterested in the conversation, this would be discouraging forpeople to open up and talk.

Whenwe are seeking for someone to rant our problems to, finding a solution may notalways be at the forefront of our mind. You are not expected to fix. Sometimes,we just need to be present and hear our loved ones out.

Justbe still, listen, and seek to understand the whole person. People are made upof more than just their mental health condition. Someones mental healthcondition may form as part of who they are, but it does not define the whole ofwho they are.

JosephAddison, a seventeenth-century poet, wrote: Thegrand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something tolove, and something to hope for. Two of the most important things thatgive life meaning are knowing that someone cares about you, and having theopportunity to make a positive difference in someone elses life.

MattHaig wrote in his book Reasons To Stay Alive on the importance of having asupport system: Having people who loveyou and who you love is such help. This doesnt have to be romantic, or evenfamilial love. Forcing yourself to see the world through loves gaze can behealthy. Love is an attitude to life. It can save us.

Lovecan be shown in many ways. A warm hug. Spending time to talk with each. Goingout for a cup of coffee to catch up on life. Giving notes of encouragement. Gettinga gift because it reminds you of them. Being comfortable enough to express youremotions to each other. Mike McHargue shares, People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help others heal,love them without an agenda.

Notall of us are professionals. However, taking an interest in being up-to-datewith our friends progress is another way to show that we care. Accountabilityhelps to encourage a person further in their journey to achieve their goal.

Allin all, we should encourage the people in our lives to be kind to themselves. Whetherit be celebrating milestones, eating well, resting, or daring to ask for help,lets be there for one another in anticipating another day ahead.

[1]Kate Richards, Is There NoPlace For Me?: Making Sense of Madness (Penguin Books, 2014) p.40

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4 Ways To Be A Good Listener To Our Peers - Thrive Global

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October 2nd, 2019 at 4:43 am

Posted in Mental Attitude