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Key Ways to be a better listener| 4.6.2022

In this episode, Kristen shares key ways to be a better listener and how you can improve your relationships with others.

You'll Learn

  • Why listening to others is difficult
  • How to listen and make others feel heard
  • Questions a better listener asks
  • How to be more present with others


Gaslighting in Relationships

For counseling services near Indianapolis, IN, visit www.pathwaystohealingcounseling.com.

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This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.

Welcome to the close to Chapter podcast. I am Kristen Boice, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice Pathways to Healing counselling. Through conversations, education, strategies, and shared stories, we will be closing the chapter on all the thoughts, feelings, people and circumstances that don't serve you anymore. And open the door to possibilities and the real you. You won't want to miss an episode, so be sure to subscribe

Welcome to this week's Close The Chapter podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. For this important episode, we are going to be jumping into how to improve your relationships with a partner, a friend, a co-worker, really anyone and it's how do we become a better listener? It is so hard because we want to get our thing out, we want to say some helpful advice. We want to interrupt and ask a question. It is a challenge. And so if you want to get better at building your listening skills, or figuring out how do I get out of my head, and more present in conversations, to build deeper connections in stronger bonds with people, this is how you do it. So you're going to want to grab your pen and paper if you have it. If not, you can replay this at any point, go back to it. If you're in the middle of walking, doing something at home, wherever you are. I'm glad you're joining me. Thank you for being on the movement to change people's lives, including yours. When we share the podcast and we start deeper conversations. We're starting to transform the conversation on emotional and mental wellness, and our mental health. We have been in a mental health crisis. And I am on a mission to help as many people as possible. And I hope and pray that this podcast can be of service to who ever needs to hear these messages. And I hope when you're feeling down, you can go back and listen to as many episodes as you need. And they're all available on the Kristen D boice.com. website, you'll want to jump on the newsletter that comes to your inbox. Every Wednesday is packed full of helpful information, we give you podcast episodes and speaking engagements, I'm on YouTube videos, whatever might be helpful for you. So you don't want to miss that. So jump on and get that delivered to your inbox. And then you'll get the newest episodes as well. You can also subscribe to the podcast. And let's jump into today's topic on why listening is so challenging. There's so many reasons. One is we really weren't listened to or attuned with, as children. I'm not saying some of the time we weren't. But most of us really weren't listened to acknowledged emotionally connected with as kids. So it's often more challenging as an adult to listen because we want to be heard, we want to be understood, we want to be seen, we want to feel loved and connected with. And so sometimes when we're in the other seat, it can be a challenge. And for those of us that might be a little quieter in we are used to asking the questions and not sharing, I want to challenge you as well to put yourself out there in a different way to share more to be more vulnerable and take a risk. So let's break down key listening skills. First of all, we have to be fairly regulated, in order to listen well what does that mean? That means I have to be present in this moment in the here and now. So it can't be on my phone. I'm not looking around, outside of the person in front of me. I am trying to notice the thoughts in my head and bring it back to my breath and bring it back to my body by feeling my feet on the floor connecting to my breath. This is sounding so easy, but it's not. I've got my to do list in my head. It's like okay, I've got to do the laundry. Oh, I forgot to text this person back. Oh my gosh, what did I say yesterday? Did that even make sense? I mean, we're having a dialogue in our head all the time. This is why it's so challenging to listen. And then we also have a filtering system of our life experiences, our opinions, our beliefs, our emotions, we're filtering what is being delivered to us or communicated to us through our own filtering system. That's why when I work with couples and they are taking turns one is being the listener one is being the receiver can be so challenge to the receiver because they're hearing something that the sender didn't even say their partner didn't say, and I'll say, can you mirror that back. And when they mirror it back, it is not at all with the partner set. It's because it went through our story system, it went through our filter system, and we are convinced what we think is the truth. And so when we mirror it back, the person says, No, that's not what I said. And the person thinks, yes, you did. I heard you. You said that. And I'm saying no, I'm the objective third party saying, let's try again. Can you say it in one sentence, instead of three paragraphs within I feel I feel sad, because I'm afraid this pattern won't change. Or I'm afraid because the story making up the story of created is that you don't really want to be with me one sentence, and then the listener doesn't feel so flooded. So that's the next thing that can happen. When we're listening, we can feel flooded and overwhelmed by too much content, it's like so much coming in. And what I want to tell people is just regulate yourself, take a deep breath, feel your feet on the floor, and know you're not going to get it all right. And you don't have to be right when you're listening. The key thing is to soften your presence, soften your gaze, soften your face, take several several deep breaths in through your nose out through your mouth, and look at the person in the eyes softly and tenderly to create a safe place. Watch your body language. I know there's a lot of steps here. But it's important, you're doing a full body skin, or your arms crossed. And this is where my kids will say you look mad, my husband or myself. I'm not mad, but my face is not conveying happiness or contentment, I may look stressed in my face, and my eyebrows might be frown, I might have more of a stern look on my face. And maybe I'm not mad, but maybe I'm overwhelmed or stressed. Maybe I am afraid. And it's coming across as mad. And maybe my body language is communicating more tension and tightness, and stiffness rather than open connection. My body is an open stance, my heart is open, maybe I'm not present, maybe I'm on my phone worrying about something else. So when we're listening, I highly recommend your phone is down, which phone down, look at the person softly soften your gaze, notice your facial expressions, watch your body language, and just be in the here and now in this moment. Don't try to go to the future. Don't try to go to the past, just be present with the person in front of you. That's called attunement. When I'm attuned I can then receive in here to try to understand what the person is telling me. This gets really hard when we feel defensive. So you're going to have to watch your defensiveness of feeling attacked, feeling wronged feeling shamed feeling judged, and breathe through that it doesn't mean you have to receive that it means you can stay regulated. And then you might have to say something like it's not okay for you to call me names. It's not okay to speak to me with that tone of voice. I'm going to get up and leave if you don't lower your voice. And talk to me kindly give you an example of what if you do need to set a boundary. But listening takes so much deeper work if you're fully going to listen to somebody, if you're going to receive what they're saying. If you're going to be able to hold space, you probably heard that term before holding space means I can handle your emotions and it's okay to have them. And I'm not going to shut down change the subject give you all the positive reasons why you shouldn't feel that way. Try to fix it try to rescue I'm going to just allow you to have your feelings now as long as they're not attacking you, shaming you gaslighting you that's a different conversation, you can go back and listen to the gaslighting episode. If that's the case, I'm talking about how to learn to connect through attunement by listening to understand, not listening to defend yourself, not listening to poke holes in something not being on trial and trying to listen for all the evidence of how this person is wrong. You are listening to try to understand what is this person in front of me feeling in not project not put your own emotions on this person. So if you've walked through a loss or grief, you're not telling the person how they feel based on your experience. Even though grief is painful, you might have had a totally different experience of it. Maybe it was a traumatic loss for this person. Maybe they even feel relief that this person is gone but you never felt that way. So we don't want to make any assumptions and we don't want to put on which means project your emotions onto somebody else and assume in know how that word goes. Assume that you know how someone else is feeling. That's why I like direct questions. When we ask a direct question, we have to be willing to listen to the answer. And that can be hard. So when we're listening, we are working on our biases, we are working on our reactions, we are working on judgments, we're working on our shame. We're working on the ability to listen to understand how this person in front of me is feeling. That's the main part of listening, what are they feeling, the content is 10% of it. The 90% is the nonverbals. And that's the definition of communication. 90% is nonverbals. 10% is the actual communication, the content. And so it's important that as the listener, I highly recommend one, just be with what they say let whatever said, be there without trying to fix rescuers save it without jumping, interrupting, and without offering advice. And man, I'm going to tell you, this is the hardest for me personally. And it may be different for you in different people or different roles, you play different circumstances. But this is hardest for me with my kids. I'm a good listener until I think, ooh, I've got a solution for you. Or I've got some advice you might want to consider. Or have you thought of this or that they don't want to hear that when they're trying to tell me how they feel. And it is a challenge to not try to offer solutions or ways to think about it differently, or how they might approach the situation and make it better than my daughter was, I just need you to hear me and listen, don't fix it. She'll tell me that out of the gate. Because we came up with this communication between each other and actually, between the whole family to say, I don't need you to fix it, I just need you to listen. So sometimes when you're listening to someone to say, do you need advice or feedback, or you just want me to listen, and the person may not even know there might be like, I don't even know. And then you can say you know what, I'm just gonna listen and hold the space. Let me know if you want any feedback. Because oftentimes people don't really want feedback. And if you give it to them, I find people get upset that they didn't take the advice. Like I told them what to do. And they didn't do it. I might Mm hmm. Because they have free will and choice just like we do. And it's nothing personal. They decided that wasn't the answer for them. And I actually encourage people to not do survey says what they ask everybody for advice. I do encourage people to have safe people they can process emotion with. I know we can do this in our journals, we can do this with a therapist, and we can build support systems where we can actually have authentic conversation, not gossip, we're actually naming and processing our emotions. And that's where listening is so important, especially in romantic relationships. And I don't mean just sit there and look like a robot or like just look stoic people feel very disconnected and unsafe when that takes place. When someone just looks at him and goes, mm hmm, that almost feels worse because it's almost so disconnecting in an authentic that's why attunement is my body's leaning in. I'm making soft iContact I am non verbally engaged in the conversation with my body language. I have a soft, loving, open arm spirit to me open when I say open arms like I've got my heart open, I have a non judgmental stance, a warmth. I work with this with couples all the time. What do I mean by warmth? I have couples that one person in the Couplehood it can be male or female or it doesn't matter pronouns or gender, it will be one person is just more rigid. They are very self protective, or they're very linear in logic. So I'm inviting them into softening, softening their eyes, softening their voices, because sometimes the voice can be very stern, softening their presence, having a softness to them, a warmth, a compassion and empathy. When we are listening, empathy and compassion and warmth and a non judgmental presence. I can't even tell you the price to put on that it is so comforting and connective because a person feel safe, unseen. And they also can feel soothed. It's also a way to say I can come as I am and you're going to accept in love me, I can come as I am because you have the ability to just let me be me and you can tolerate the emotions I have. Now, the ideal scenario is when we all take radical ownership for our emotions, our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. That's even more safety because As the person on the sender and the listener have a mutual growth mindset, where they're saying, I'm going to work on my defensiveness and not attack you, I'm going to work on holding the space. And we both have the ability to communicate clearly indirectly and set boundaries and say what's okay? What's not okay, what we want, what we don't what we like, what we don't like, there's a freedom in that there's a freedom to grow and evolve in connect at a deeper level that we might not have even gotten in childhood. So when we are listening, yes, we are holding the space non verbally, we are offering empathy and compassion, even if we're not saying anything. And then I like to teach people reflection, when we reflect, what we're doing is we are saying, I heard you, we want to be heard. We want to feel like the person understands what I'm saying. So a lot of people go, Oh, I understand that. Well, that doesn't really do it. Because someone might say back to you. No, you really don't, especially in grief. People go I understand that. And the people on the other side, just want to go no, no, you don't understand. You might know grief, but you don't really understand it doesn't feel connective, it feels disconnected. And your intention is pure, you want to say I understand that I've caught myself doing this many times, what we want to do, instead of saying I understand is we want to reflect back what we heard. And so that would look like not robotically. So what I heard you say is empathic Lee say so what I heard you say is you're really scared and sad, because you feel alone right now, and really are afraid to share how you're feeling. And they're going to go yes, to exactly how I feel. And they're going to continue on, because they felt safe, seen, heard and understood. It elicits more connection. So the person wants to open up more. This is where my kids say, Do not talk to anybody go into the store, because they're going to talk to you and tell you their life story. And that's sometimes true, sometimes not. What I feel like I am intentional about is saying a prayer, that I can be a vessel for myself, my family and other people. What does that mean? That means I'm willing to try to see the person in front of me, what do they feel? How are they who are they now I can always get somebody's story, because that would be sometimes not appropriate. What I'm doing is I'm seeing them, I'm acknowledging their existence and offering gratitude. If they're in the service industry, or they're being helpful. There's no greater gift. And my husband, whenever there's a name tag, he will say their name, he'll say, Hi, Dave, how are you? And he's not doing it to put on a front he's not doing it to please anybody. He's doing it because he genuinely wants that person to feel seen, acknowledged. And important. I just get teary eyed because I think that's one of the greatest gifts we can offer each other, we are the walking wounded, we all are so desperate to be understood and loved and to feel good enough and to feel like we're important and that somebody cares about us. And maybe that somebody is a stranger.
I love this story of me driving. It was in the car. And this lady just was smiling at me in the car next to me literally like just like, smiling at me. And I couldn't help but smile back. And that was her ministry, I'm convinced now is she always going to be smiling? No, that would be covering up and masking. And then on what she pulled ahead of me and on all over the back of our car was smile. You are loved. And I thought oh my gosh, there you were, you were intentional about smiling. And maybe she doesn't feel like it all the time and doesn't do it all the time. And that's okay, because you got to be human, and you're not gonna feel like smiling every day. But that was for her. That was something she was offering to humanity. And I think listening is something we lack. Because we don't know one. How to listen well, because we want to interrupt, we want to get our thing out. We want to fix rescue and save or someone will talk and we don't even know how to respond. We don't say anything at all. And that's what I'm teaching you. If you don't know what to say back, you can say that's really hard. Man, that's really hard. Secondly, you can mirror back what I heard you say is it's been such a hard season for you and you feel lonely and lost and wish there was more connection. And then they're going to go yes, I didn't fix anything in that conversation. I didn't try to rescue the person. I just offer them the compassion that I was willing to listen To them, understand them and see them. So that mirroring back. And then the third way is to another compassionate way is just offering empathy. So what that might look like is, I can see how painful that was. And if they go, No, was it painful? That was exciting, then you can go, oh, I can see how exciting that would be, then you don't have to be right. So if you get the emotion wrong, that's okay. Because we might not know and we're not always going to get it right. We don't need to be right. We're getting it so we can get more accuracy and capturing what the person's feeling to understand that happens in therapy. When I have clients, and I'll say, oh, I can see that. I can see tears coming up. Are you feeling sad, right? Now, they may not be connected to the sadness yet. They'll say no, I'm mad. And I'll say, Okay, you're really mad. Let's see if we can just lean into that badness a little bit more. Now, you're not going to say that to some friend or your partner, because you're not their therapist, you're just simply going to offer them the presence that you see them. This is what we needed from our parents. So if you're a parent, I'm going to encourage you right now, to start listening to understand not interrupt, mirror back, repeat, like mirror back, repeat back, summarise what you heard or say, verbatim, if you're not able to really get it because of the shame in your head and the stories you're writing and say it verbatim to check it, then you're going to check it did I get that instead of assuming, and just let them talk? Let them go. Now, we often want to turn the conversation back to us, unintentionally. So if someone says to you, I'm guilty of this. So if someone says, Did you watch the Grammys last night? And you say no, or you say yes, and let's say they start sharing about a story of maybe they went to the grant, I'm making this up who goes to the Grammys, I'm coming up with a really random example, let's come up with a more realistic one. Okay, someone says they had a bad day, let's do this. Let's say they had a bad day, they got in a fight with their kid, and they're so upset, and they're telling you about that. And then you turn the conversation go, me too. I had a fight with my kid yesterday, I told him guilty of this. And now the conversations about me and my fight with my kid or my disagreement. Now, if the person has done sharing, you've mirrored back, you have acknowledged and empathised now you can take turns, then you could share how you can relate to their story. It's when we jump into the middle or the beginning where they're sharing. And we say me, too, this happened. And this happened, because it's so connected, that someone else is going through the same experience. We're so excited on some level that someone else feels the same way we do. And we've hijack the conversation, not intentionally, that then shifts the conversation to you. So we want to watch that, where we start sharing because we can relate to the story before we have let them fully share and process and acknowledged and empathised with them. That's one of my bigger ones, especially when I'm excited that I can relate to what someone else is saying. I also like to offer some validation by saying that makes sense to me. And it makes sense, because I think that's really acknowledging, I think that feels like you're taking a big deep breath, that you're not crazy, that someone doesn't get you that you're too much. All those shame stories we tell ourselves, I think it's a nice offering. When you're listening to offer validation. You might say something like, I can see how you would see it that way. Because sometimes XYZ because what we're doing there is we're saying, I see you, I get it, that makes sense. You're not out to lunch, because so many times we feel like there's something wrong with us. We're defective. Why do we think this way? It's our inner critic. It's our shame stories that get us in it blocks us from feeling connected to somebody else. Another empathy statement might be, I can imagine you might be feeling insert one of the core emotions, you can go back and listen to that episode. So sad, angry, afraid, disgusted, excited, joyfilled whatever. And then you're gonna check it and say, Is that what you're feeling? And if they say no, they say, Oh, tell me more I love. Here's a couple of key phrases when you're listening. Tell me more, or is there more that gets the person to keep going and open up? And the next one is? I'm wondering. I'm wondering if you felt betrayed and wondering if you felt trapped and wondering if you felt lonely? This is great for children. If you're a parent or grandparent or in any relationship because you're not having to be right you're not playing the I told you so card you're not playing the I know how you feel. You're playing the tentative hypothetical. Let me try this on. I see you. Let me see if I'm getting it and then They can say, No, you're off base, or Yeah, that's true as the listener, both sender and receiver, but if you're the listener, I'd encourage you to say, appreciation for the person in front of you. So it might be one thing I appreciate about you is blank, or one thing I'm grateful for you about in our relationship, or just you, in general is blank, what a great gift to show appreciation to the person that just was vulnerable. Because my definition of vulnerability is yes, risk of emotional exposure, which is Brene browns. And then I would take it a step further and say, it's telling the truth, the whole truth about how you really feel with love and grace, it's really telling the truth, that's scary, that's vulnerable, plus the risk of emotional exposure. So to have someone notice you and appreciate something about you, specifically, is so connective, and not fake, you don't want to do it, if you're not feeling it, that's an authentic, something else you could say is what I see in you is blank. Now, it needs to be something like what I see in you is your care and love and compassion for other people. That might be something you might say, it's really just acknowledging the soul that's in front of you, when you're listening, you're saying you're worth my time to put down my phone, you're worth my time to not be distracted by the 100 things I've got going on, you're worth my time to not be doing the household chores, because you're my child, and I want to pay attention to you. Even though I'm exhausted, you're worth my time as my partner to show you how much I love you by listening to what you want to share with me, I'm going to put down my phone, everyone will put down their phones, when they talk, I would be so grateful I would I see this as a huge issue. Look at the person in front of you. This is for couples, when I do couples therapy, I have them turn towards each other, look at each other soften their gaze, and it's uncomfortable for them. Because they've had their phones in between each other or they've had a cocktail between each other. Or they've had some division, some divider that has blocked them from connection. And I invite you and you're listening, turn your body towards the person, don't be on your phone. Don't be looking at other directions. And I said that earlier. Don't be watching TV, turn the TV off in say You're important to me enough that I'm going to turn off this television in my show. And I'm going to listen to in really hear you such a gift. We're not giving each other don't text don't get on social media. Just listen. If you really feel like this will be helpful for you to share this episode with somebody that you really want to listen to and want to have that reciprocated, you can send this episode to them. And you can talk about it. Where do you think you have areas of improvement, you can confess yourself like blight interrupt I do the advice giving oh, I want to tell you everything you did wrong. Oh, I want to fix it. I want to offer you solutions. I want to I'm distracted. That might be something you can own I'm distracted, I get overwhelmed and shut down. So if you could say it in one or two sentences, I feel sad, because fill in the blanks and cut down what you're saying, as the sender. So I can hear you better. And sometimes I might coach people to say could you say that and like one or two sentences because I am having trouble processing everything. Own it. If you're having trouble processing, own it, if you're not fully present, say I'm having trouble being present. Let me take a moment. Let me ground myself. Let me feel my feet on the floor. Or you might say I really want to hear you and I am wiped out. Can we have this conversation tomorrow, and then you are responsible for following up with the conversation. So if I say I want the conversation tomorrow, it's on me to follow up with that conversation. And then let's thank the person for sharing. I do this all the time with my kids and my husband when they share with me and it's hard feedback to hear. And I'm going into shame. And I'm trying to soothe my shame with compassion, deep breaths, I say thank you so much for sharing that. That's part of being an attuned listener is thanking the person for sharing with you. Whenever someone shares something hard or vulnerable. Say thank you for sharing that with me. That really is something I don't take lightly. And I'm so grateful that you trusted me enough to share that with me. Let's start saying that it helps the person feel safe enough to share with you again. I'm going to have you take a moment and I'm going to have you write down somebody that comes to mind that you feel like has been a good listener in your life. So right out answer this question who has been a good listener in your life? Take a moment, scan the timeline, go on. All the way back to childhood all the way forward to present day, who has listened well, non judgmentally, attuned to non interrupt, just held the space. And then I want you to write down the qualities and characteristics of that person in what you noticed, when they were listening and receiving. What did you notice about the person? What qualities were they offering you? How did that feel for you? Then I want you to reflect on your listening skills. How distracted? Are you? How much of your own story in your own shame are you in? When you're listening? How much of you has to be right? How much of you feels attacked? I know it depends on the person. But I'm really looking at the most important people in your life. So if you're in a romantic relationship, your children, your grandchildren, your close friendships, evaluate, are you an attuned listener, we could all improve on our listening. I know I can. I think being in the pandemic, we all want to be heard more than ever. And then there's folks that really don't share it all. And that's another form of self protection, and just evaluating like, what is that about for you? And so it might feel like there might be some work there even on sharing more. But in terms of listening, it's important that you're evaluating how were your primary caregivers that listening. So how was mom that to blame them? Or just creating some understanding and to how you might be as a listener? Not that you're the same people. But how was your mom, as a listener? How was your dad as a listener, and I can go through my parents, I mean, my dad was so obsessed with IU basketball, he, I'd be like, Dad, dad, he was not available to listen during those games. Totally fine. He was easily distracted. He had a hard time focusing. So he was like, oh, flying purple squirrel over there. So he had a real hard time listening and tuning. And when he did, listen, I felt so good. I felt so good when he could listen and offer that to me. And just don't underestimate that as a parent, how much that impacts your kids. When I go to my mom, my mom, who was a therapist, by the way, her listening was based on her own sense of security. So if she felt good about herself, meaning she felt secure, she could listen better if she felt any way that I was criticising her or upset with her or that I was giving her feedback that she didn't like, she couldn't listen, she could only get defensive, she could not offer acknowledgement, empathy, validation, she couldn't offer it because she was so much in her shame. It blocked her ability to listen and blocked her ability to attune in. I love my mom, it's helped me both my parents be who I am. And I wouldn't trade them for the world. And it's important, you're noticing how that's impacted you if you weren't heard, we all have a deep need to be heard that's universal, but we will have a deep desire for attention and to be listened to. So it's important, you're nurturing that inner child, or else you're going to be putting that or projecting that onto other people to offer you what your parents didn't offer you. So when I think back to my mom, it was a very defensive response to my emotions, and dysregulated. And so it made it not safe for me to share how I felt because she felt threatened. My parents were divorced, she felt threatened by my dad. And it was even though she chose to get the divorce, she just had her inner child online. And so it created a feeling of not being able to hear me she interrupted, non stop. So I would say I feel sad, because I wish you could hear me. And before I could say that whole sentence, and I wasn't that sophisticated. I wasn't saying it in that way. Know how I was saying it but not knowing what I know. Now I can easily say that not easily, but I can say it when I'm regulated and centred better. But for her, she would interrupt too quickly because her shame was too great. It would be interrupt, interrupt, defend, defend, defend, defend, and I would say could you just hear me because you're not interrupt me. You're getting defensive. And I did say that as a teenager. And then it would just like people say, Well, I would yell to be heard. Well, yeah, cuz you say please don't interrupt, please don't interact. And it wasn't effective. It wasn't healthy. It didn't help her hear me she would get more angry and more mad. And so listening is one of the most important offerings we can give. And when I say offerings, it truly is an offering to listen to your inner voice. And when you can listen to what lies within you, you'll be able to listen to other people when you are meeting those unmet needs from childhood. So my unmet need of maybe not that emotional connection as a teenager, I now as an adult, can work with my inner child and offer me that soothing that I might need. So I don't project it doesn't always happen, but so I don't project it on to my kids. So listening to my inner voice is the essence of being able to listen to other people, listening to my inner child taking care of those unmet needs, meaning seeing myself giving myself permission to be me, acknowledging my emotions, processing them, noticing my body, by journaling, talking to a therapist, EMDR all the things you know, I love, then I'm able to offer that up. That's where people say, How do you listen to people all day, it comes naturally. Now, in some days, there are harder days, but it really is from doing my own work, I promise you it's from do and it's not always easy. I'm making it sound like it is it's not there's days where I'm like can somebody listen to be, that's when I need to go to therapy, or that's when I need to journal or that's when I need to take a walk or exercise or that's when I need to talk to my inner child and say, Honey, I'm right here. And that's when I might need to pray or meditate more, that particular day. But these are things that I'm acknowledging on a daily basis so that I can be a better listener. This is a journey for me. I mean, listening isn't easy, especially when we feel attacked, or use the word quote, unquote, attacked when we feel blamed, when we feel shamed or judged. And that I'm clear, if I'm a good listener, and I'm really trying to attune to the person in front of me, because I was able to tune to myself, then I feel more secure, mainly because I'm able to listen to myself, but I feel like okay, I can offer that to somebody else. And it's not a threat. To me, it's a connective, I learned that it's connection. So that's why the inner child, so important work that you're doing the deeper work in doing your therapy work is so important. Because you can be who you want to be, you have the freedom to be who you want to be. So listen to yourself, give yourself permission to meet these unmet needs that you have inside to give yourself a voice to communicate what you like and what you don't like. And I know it can be scary, other end of it is we only have so much time on this earth. So I'm inviting you in to listen to you the voice within you, the one not the inner critic. But what is the inner critic trying to tell you what attention is the inner critic meeting what soothing and nurturing and empathy is the inner critic needing that's all it is they need to be heard and seen and loved, and soothed and filled with grace and compassion and non judgement, you can go back and listen to inner child episodes. My point is, this is the essence of being the listener. You want to be is listening to yourself, a tuning into yourself. And then oh, it's like a tuning if you have a spiritual journey or on that certainly is super helpful to listening. Because I pray I'm like, please help me to be present in listen. So I understand and this person feels seen. And then I'm also asking for that for myself. So selfish. That's called self-care. So you're able to offer this to other people. And then your children will be able to offer it to other people because they felt heard. They felt emotionally connected. They felt emotionally safe with you. They felt acknowledged, heard, seen and understood, and so on and so forth. We go on into the world and spread it out. So thank you for listening. I am so grateful for you. I wanted to cheer you on so much on doing this deeper work. There is no price tag you can put on it. You are worthy, you are lovable, you matter. Shame wants to tell you something different. I tell you this so many times and keep going. It's not an easy journey.

This it up and down roller coaster, and it is so worth it because you're worth it and you're changing your life and you're changing other people's lives by doing this work. Thank you and I cannot wait to see you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoyed this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or a family member. For more information about how to get connected visit kristendboice.com. Thanks and have a great day.