A lot of people who come to Counselling are wanting to improve their relationships. How often do you speak to someone and sense that they aren’t listening to you? Perhaps there is something about their response, or lack of response telling you that you have not been heard or understood. Perhaps you have felt diminished by the lack of importance attributed to what you said by the listener leading to feel misunderstood or judged by the listener’s response…or lack of it – or even angry that you are not able to get your point across.
The impact of not feeling heard is far greater than you might think and ongoing exposure to the feelings it can generate can affect your self-esteem, confidence and trust in other people to give you what you need. It can be anxiety provoking to consider that you are unable to communicate your needs or point of view or that you are being judged for something you have said.
Being heard allows people to process how they are feeling and to support this, you do not necessarily need to do any more than to listen. It is really important to remember that you won’t always agree but that doesn’t mean that you can’t listen. You may have conflicting values or character ideals and listening well is a great way to show that you are embracing your differences.
So, listening well means hearing things from someone else’s perspective, without judgement, and responding in a warm and genuine way – Article from NHS Counselling Services (2019)