As promised, here is the third installment on how to build confidence once withdrawal is ending. Listening is a skill that helps us build our confidence because 1. we learn a great deal, 2. we create much better relationships, 3. we get out of our own head and preoccupation with self and 4. It grows our brains and our hearts.
Most people like to think that they are good listeners when in fact, they aren’t They interrupt, they steal the conversation, they steal the spotlight, they put others on the defensive, they are quick to anger, they are judgemental… the list goes on and on.
Real listening means you listen for content and meaning and emotion, not just words. You empty yourself of your agenda and you truly take in what the other person wants you to know. You respect the speaker. You create emotional and physical safety for the speaker. Most of us don’t even consider emotional safety for others. We are quick to judge, make wrong or verbally attack others.
True listening is an art. It is a spiritual practice that we need to work on daily. Especially when we are in the last healing stages of benzo withdrawal. We’ve been so preoccupied with our own thoughts, feelings and suffering that we need to learn to take the focus off of ourselves and put it onto others. We need to learn to stop talking so much about ourselves and to be open to others.
The type of listening I am referring to and encouraging is deep listening. Once you learn how to practice it, you find yourself feeling calmer and more patient. You feel more love in your heart and more compassion for others. Deep listening changes us for the better. It takes time and effort and a lot of practice, but it is worth it.
The first book I ever wrote (co-authored with Dr. Mark Brady) was A Little Book Of Listening Skills. It had 52 listening skills in it. I’ve taken them and condensed them down into three, in Stop Open Turn. Three Simple Listening Skill To Nurture And Grow Love In Recovery.
If you are interested in learning more about the practice of deep listening, drop me a line. I’m happy to go into more detail with you on how to practice and what the benefits are to your brain, heart and soul.