In this fast paced and multi-task world is anyone really listening anymore? With the bombardment of electronic media – it is becoming increasingly rare to find what I call Genuine Interest.
When last did you just sit back without the TV on, no cell phone buzzing or music and just focus on the person with you? This is one way to nurture relationships by really listening and not be distracted by other stuff. If we truly care about others, we should take notice, develop and display ‘genuine interest’ towards them.
There is a big difference between simply listening to people and listening with deep interest. To show you really care it is important to really listen. Think how good you felt when friends showed a real interest in you and what you’ve been up to. They look you in the eye, ask questions and really connect. How often do we do this to others?
The good news is that the ability to be genuinely interested in people is something that can be learned. This applies to having an interest in others, caring about others and trusting people around you. If you do this other people will in-turn be interested in you and care about what you have to say.
Another important thing to help you to build genuine interest in others is to put yourself in their shoes and look at the world from their perspective. It may very well be that the topic someone came to you with is seemingly not important to you but it may be vital to them. Ask questions and be curious, it will take you far.
People can tell immediately if you are simply pretending to listen as we have all done. Take the time to mend your ways and become really interested in others by practicing genuine interest and you will find that it delivers just the same – a real interest in those around you. This happens naturally as you learn more about them and strengthen your relationship. Soon enough you will have a genuine interest and not have to practice the social skill.
I recently came across this related article titled ‘How to lengthen your life’. The article was not about quitting smoking, exercising or reducing stress, but seeing things in a new light by applying keen focus to each moment lived so that our lives feel fuller and more rewarding.
Someone summed it up as follows: “What makes life a joy cannot be limited to the BIG moments, which are rare, but a constant succession of small moments fully observed and absorbed and lived. Thank God, the world is full of endless wonders to be observed and appreciated.”