Do you know how to listen?
August 8, 2018

“I’ve been there. I know the feeling.”

It makes me wince to think of how often I’ve said something similar. It’s been a while, thankfully. It did eventually occur to me I can’t know how someone feels because I’m not that person.

30 RockKatie helped. As she grew up I noticed what worked when she was stinging from something. “Do you want to talk about it?” was a great place to start. “Please, tell me more” never backfired. Listening, really listening, was magic. I waited for an invitation before I said much of anything. It didn’t matter what I thought about what had happened. What mattered was how she felt about it.

And, sure. After the storm had blown over I wasn’t shy about asking if she wanted to hear about a similar storm I’d weathered. She always took me up on it. Her feelings had gotten their due, and now she could entertain other perspectives.

Your children can teach you a lot if you don't pretend you already know it all.