Keren Smedley | 6th July 2016


Woman-Listening-Touching-Arm-Small-300x200I was talking to someone last week and all she could think about was how awful everything was. Every time I offered a different way to think about it she came back defensively with why it was bad and why it wouldn’t get better.

As you know my work is focused on enabling others to find ways to manage their lives more effectively and to find a good way forward for themselves. I realised after a few minutes that it was me that wanted her to find solutions and she wasn’t ready. I settled back into my chair and just listened. What I mean is not the average listening that we do most of the time but ‘real listening’ or what we say in the jargon as ‘active listening’. I listened to every part of her and not just the words. After she had time to say everything and she knew she’d been heard she said, ‘now can you help me to work out what to do’. I was reminded that timing is everything!

One of the things we can do for ourselves when we’re feeling down is to spend time sitting with the negative feelings and allow ourselves to feel them and express them either out loud to ourselves or to another. When you’ve said all you can, don’t then find others to say it all to again, this can become a habit and all you do is stay put and go round in circles.  Instead move into finding a solution.  Think about what you’d like instead and ways to do this. Find a friend to share this with and ask for their input and support, and then take action.

It may not work the first time round so do the process again until you find that stages one and two are no longer needed and you’re just doing it! I think you’ll be surprised how far you can get!

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