Listen without Comment

Your friend comes in shaken by seriously bad news. She is frightened and her energy is running sideways. She begins telling her story and before she finishes, you are already conjuring solutions. You know what she could do, what she should do, what she should think, where your experience with similar situations led you. As soon as she pauses to take a breath, you launch in with your recommendations.  You want to help.

Consider this – your friend needs an ear, not a mouth. She needs to be heard, she needs empathy, she needs relief. She needs you to listen mindfully, without comment. Bite your tongue, hold your breath, sit on your hands and listen, listen, listen. Listen with every fiber of your being. All you need to do is listen. Let her finish – be there with her. Let her catch her breath – comfort her.

When she finally finishes, the only words you utter are “What do you need?” Whatever she says, that’s what you do next.

Practice daily.
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