Let’s be honest… How many of us have been guilty of dismissive listening at one point?
It’s human nature to want to relate to other humans and their experiences. In some ways it’s acts as a comfort to know others have been through the same thing and you can relate.
But sometimes we don’t want others to relate their experience, we just want someone to listen to what we are telling them and offer us comfort and sympathy. Relating your experience with another persons experience can potentially be unhelpful, particularly if it makes the person feel like their feelings are ‘normal’ because others have felt that way too. This can then cause a person to revert to bottling their feelings up.
It is important to be empathetic when listening. This is a skill in itself!
Fine-tuning this skills helps develop a person centred approach, allowing a therapeutic bond to be formed. Being empathetic, listening without judgement, and validating a persons feelings all contribute to this approach and determine the success of a session!
What skills do you use?