Active listening is a skill everyone should develop, especially those who are caring for others.
Hearing and hearing are not the same. Active listening involves paying attention to the meaning behind the words in order to understand and respect the speaker’s feelings or thoughts. Knowing how to listen is a quality everyone should developBecause it is the best way to strengthen relationships, resolve conflicts, and help others.
However, active and empathetic listening becomes more relevant when we care about another person. It is the most effective way to accompany, support and recognize the needs of the affected person. How to put it into practice? trace!
The importance of knowing how to listen to needs
All elders, both those who have problems and those who do not requires extensive and specialized attention, This refers to medical care, social assistance, leisure time, etc.
However, an important aspect that is often overlooked is the need to feel heard and understood by loved ones, caregivers, and society in general.
Knowing how to listen is a fundamental process Makes a significant contribution to the well-being and quality of life of aging people,
In this regard, one study determined that active listening enhances mental health in older people. Therefore, it is a process that should not be ignored in the care of others.
Among its great advantages are the following:
- Facilitates knowledge of the real needs of the elderly. Which will help to satisfy them adequately.
- It encourages availability, closeness, understanding and inter-generational encounters.
- It helps to cope with situations of stress, sadness, despair, grief and anguish that often occur in the lives of older people.
- fight loneliness Allows them to feel included, valued and supported.
- Strengthen the links. This will help them to confide in themselves about their problems, let off steam and find comfort in the other.
- build confidence, Safety and self-esteem of the elderly.
How to practice active listening at any time?
Active listening means extra energy and dedication. Therefore, we do not apply it in daily communication. In general, while the other is expressing themselves, we only think about the next response to get or pay attention to what we want. At last, we get into unnecessary misunderstandings or conflicts.
We should avoid this bad habit and practice active listening. To do this, we recommend the following.
1. Pay attention to body language
Gestures and body expressions are a fundamental part of communication, as they They provide us with valuable information about our interlocutor,
Pay attention to their looks, the movement of their hands, the tension of their shoulders, their facial expressions, their tone of voice, etc. This will give some indication of the mood, which will help to better understand what you want to convey.
simultaneously, Try to be mindful of your body and try to express openness and understanding, In this sense, avoid crossing your arms, raising your eyebrows, yawning, or keeping your hands on your hips.
Instead, you can cast a sympathetic eye, flash a smile, or offer a gentle handshake. These expressions can express and comfort more than a thousand words.
2. Briefly interpret the message of the interlocutor
this implies Summarize and say in your own words what you got from the message, Thus, the interlocutor will notice that you have listened carefully. An example might be: “I can tell by the tone of your voice that this is important to you. I think what you’re trying to say is… right?”
3. Ask Only If Necessary
If you’re not sure you understand what they’re saying, or if you suspect there’s a message behind their words, it’s best to ask them directly. This is an effective way to invite her to talk about her feelings and thoughts.,
Other Recommendations to Show Interest
Most caregivers usually have a long to-do list. They should not only attend to their personal affairs, but also take out time to attend to the needs of the other person.
However, it is important to have good time management and Reserve an uninterrupted space to share and listen to that loved one that’s getting old
This may mean postponing other tasks. Still, it conveys an important message: What older people have to say matters, too.
If you’re really stuck on a more important matter that can’t wait, Avoid answering in haste. Instead, put the conversation off for another time, and be sure to pick it up again when you have time.
Knowing How to Listen: A Cure for the Soul
Older people require support and companionship, especially as old age involves a series of changes that disrupt their routine and make them increasingly dependent.
This creates stress, anxiety and even depression. In such cases, Active listening is the best way to help them feel better., If you’re caring for an elder, don’t underestimate the power of this tool and don’t wait any longer to put it into practice.
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