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Do you pledge to become a better listener?

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Cher_Alumni
Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger

Today is the Samaritans 'Big Listen Day', an event dedicated to equipping ourselves with listening skills to better support those struggling with their mental health.


Wooden scrabble tiles spelling out listen more


How to be a better listener

The Samaritans outline different ways we can each hone our listening skills, including:
Listen without being distracted
Try things like making eye contact, putting your phone away and focusing completely on the other person. If you’re talking to someone on the phone, try doing it in a quiet place.

Listen without interrupting
Try and remember that pauses are fine, you don’t need to jump in and fill a silence. Resist putting your own interpretation on what the other person is saying, and repeat back what they say so it shows you’re listening.

Check in on loved ones
Why not try adding reminders to your calendar or phone, to check in with loved ones once or twice a week. Don’t give up, sometimes it can take a few tries to get someone to open up about how they’re feeling.

Looking at these, I think the point I can learn most from is not interrupting! I have a tendency to fill silent pauses, perhaps out of seeking to diminish awkwardness, which could unintentionally stop others from opening up.  How about you?

Over to you:

Are you joining me in pledging to be a better listener?  That is:
  • I pledge to listen without being distracted
  • I pledge to listen without interrupting
  • I pledge to check in with my loved ones more often and ask them how they really are
Or, do you think you're already a good listener?  What does it mean to you to be heard?  

And lastly, how are you really?  We're all ears this Saturday so feel free to open up and be heard without judgement  <3
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Comments

  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2021
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    I’m a bit sad actually. My eldest has been visiting for a fortnight and is now returning up north. I miss my kids especially when they were young. It’s funny how they change from children to adults, I miss the youngsters, that liveliness and often chaos in the home. I have no grandchildren yet either so that’s not so good. Perhaps in a few years time all being well. 

    Well, you did ask how I really feel today. ?

    (ps I’m quite a good listener already)

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger
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    @leeCal Ahhh  :(  I did ask how you really felt and thank you for telling us, it's so easy to say 'Oh, I'm fine' when inside we aren't. 

    I can understand you missing your eldest; time with our families is precious and although I'm yet to go through parenthood I can totally imagine feeling the same once my little bump grows into a fully fledged adult.  Do you keep in contact with your children regularly when they aren't about?

    Aye, we just never know what the future holds that is true.  Maybe in a couple of years you will be blessed with grandchildren which will bring along a whole new phase of life!  They say love for grandchildren differs from that for children?  Who knows, but it would be lovely to experience  <3

    Do you have anything nice planned for the rest of the day/weekend?  If not, treat yourself to something you enjoy or like doing.  Be kind to yourself on these wobbly days.

    PS - good going on the listening front.
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  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,796 Disability Gamechanger
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,984 Disability Gamechanger
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    I was taught by a psychologist to say "really?" sometimes as it shows not only that you have just been listening but that you have properly taken in what they said and are surprised or impressed by what the person has said.

    I use it quite a lot now and I find it is a very useful tool :)

    I think I have mentioned before but I also think part of listening is not just being able to repeat back what has been said, but to actually properly digest and understand what has been said. As a really basic example if someone said a sentence to me in French I could repeat it but I'd have no idea what they said - so technically I'd listened but I haven't properly processed the information.

    I hope this makes a little bit of sense :D 
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger
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    @OverlyAnxious :D  

    @66Mustang Really?  ;) That's an excellent tip and one I'm going to start to use from now on (watch out workmates!). 

    Digesting and taking in what someone has said is important, you're right.  It's easy to give the impression you're listening, while thinking about something else entirely in reality (last night's Corrie).  I think with the information overload of mobile phone notifications, social media updates, etc. people in general have become more distracted, so taking time to put down that device and make space to listen is increasingly valuable.

    I hope you're all having a nice Sunday btw!
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  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2021
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    I do try to keep in contact with my four but they’re always busy and live in four different parts of the country now. 

    all the years I had my family I had no need of friends and didn’t have any spare time either. So after they’d all left I had to make some friends and did so, so I’m not totally alone or anything and of course I have plenty of spare time these days too. I still get lonely though I must admit.

     It’s quite hard to go from busy family to just a couple again. If I have an emergency my kids are there for me but otherwise they are wrapped up in their own separate lives. 

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

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