By Drissa Kone
Listening to someone in pain is the most valuable gift we can offer to heal a broken relationship. We may know that forgiving is a valuable thing to do, but most people do not know how to forgive someone who hurt them.
Choosing to listen to the pain of another helps us to be in touch with our true self, which indeed is not so different from the other person. When the connection is made through listening, healing and forgiveness happen. The powerful principle of listening is it creates space for understanding others and pursuing a deeper human connection.
The need to be understood and accepted is a universal psychological need for all people, and it can be done powerfully through listening. By listening, a broken relationship can be healed and opposing views united.
I have experienced these moments with people close to me. Several times my wife would scold me for not doing what she asked. Often, I tried to defend and protect myself and justify my behavior. However, those psychological defense mechanisms have their limits.
According to Richard Salem, empathic listening is a way of listening and responding to another that improves mutual understanding and trust. When we are attacked, we tend to react and defend, but when we can pause and listen to the deeper concern of the person attacking us, healing and understanding happen right away.