“Recently, I mentioned a young woman, I’d overheard having a discussion with an older gentleman. She mentioned she liked a group meeting she had attended the day before. His immediate reply was, ‘I don’t like that group.’ What could he have done instead?
He could ask questions. He COULD have asked questions without wanting or needing or bothering to give an opinion. If he wished to acknowledge and respect her he could have asked, ‘that’s great, what do you like about it?’ He could encourage her to speak more.
He could have said, ‘fascinating! Will you go back? What did you discover? How did you find out about it?’ Were there many people?’ He could’ve been curious! He could have listened. Instead, he rendered an opinion that was not asked for. She was sharing.
Energy Flows Where Attention Goes – Create A Good Connection
She was telling him something she discovered and enjoyed. He immediately dissed it and her. I don’t think he intended to. He was just unaware of what he was doing. So many of us are AND much of the time. We are too eager to give our point of view. Get it?
We say what we like or don’t when someone voices theirs. We don’t need to. They didn’t ask us for our opinon. If they do, we can give it without being offensive. We could say something like, ‘I am glad you really like it. It’s just not for me.’ We validate and add information.
We could say, ‘marvelous, it didn’t resonate with me’, or ‘I have been going to a different group I like. I fit in better in my group.’ Why do you suppose when you say ‘I like pizza’ someone feels compelled to say, ‘not me!’ Perhaps you have do this. I certainly have. Silly human.
People Tend To Like People Who Like The Same Things They Do
Instead of saying, ‘wow. really what do you like about it? Why do you like? I haven’t really enjoyed it that much but I’d be curious. Maybe I’m missing something? How do you like it? What toppings?’ Get it? We can listen and request more information. Let them share!
It is about how we treat others. Do we listen to listen, or do we listen just so we can give our opinion? Do we listen just to speak? If you want to be respectful, be curious. Say, ‘fascinating, why do you think that?’ They are entitled to have an opinion. Let them have it freely.
We don’t have to argue over every like and dislike. If you both looked at a painting you don’t have to go to battle over it. You can simply say, ‘what do you like about it? Oh, that is interesting. I hadn’t thought about it that way. I hadn’t noticed that.’ Encourage them.
Like Attracts Like – Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
If they ask you if you liked it, you can be honest without being disrespectful or hurting them. You can say, ‘I don’t feel about it as you do. It doesn’t speak to me in that way.’ You are entitled to your opinion to. Just know when to, and when not to, give it. GET IT?
Treat people with respect. How respectful are you? We don’t need to give our opinion to everyone all the time. I know, we want to. So do I. We just need to listen more. Give our attention and respect to the people we associate with. Let them know we value them.
Then we help them feel valued and help them feel understood. Then they feel listened to. Be interested in the other person. When their interests are in your heart they will feel it. They will feel comfortable and like being around you if you make them feel good.
Attention – Respect – Kindness – Caring – Love – Acceptance Last
Go first. The responsibility is always on us. It is on them too if they know these principles and practices. Not everyone does. Be an example. Be a role model. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be kind, understanding, patient and accepting. You can be.
When you give your full undivided attention to another and really listen without simply wanting to speak they will feel it. Your nonverbal behaviors will demonstrate you are a respectful, good person. They really will feel it. WHY? Because so few people do this.
People want to shout out their opinions on social media and in public more and more, it seems. We don’t have to oppose each other. We can embrace each other and even our differences. It is a choice. Ask questions. Further the conversation rather than end it. Be curious.
You Win More Bears With Honey Than With Vinegar
You don’t have to, of course, but if you want a deeper rapport with people who are important to you AND those you’d like to be more important , then you will really listen more and speak less. Discover how you can share your point of view in meaningful ways. Connect with others first and they will want to hear from you, too. It is reciprocal. Make you moments magical with many more people. Celebrate everything!”
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch