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Appreciate or understand- what’s more important? – Part 2

The third layer of emotional existence- that may now seem a far-fetched possibility is when we take our appreciation to the next level- understanding.

Understanding- the best form of appreciation

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

–    Abraham Lincoln

When your spouse or colleagues in the office complain about their difficulties, what do you do? Do you listen with an intention to reply and are you quick to advise, judge, or interpret what they are saying, from your own paradigms of reality? Or could you consider silently what she is saying, can you recognize her emotions and feelings, how she is driven by her individual unique needs in the situation?

Have you ever felt understood by another person? How was the experience? Imagine you did that to someone, isn’t that a great way of honoring someone? You may not speak much, but by the sincere effort to listen and comprehend, you have made a big statement: the person is important enough to be heard and respected- you’ve recognized him! The unspoken message is you care for them- their feelings and needs are acknowledged.

To not judge others is rare in this world but it’s the best gift we could give someone. Many live in fear and pain, and it only accentuates in a culture of loose pronouncements on people’s characters. At such times if you meet someone who doesn’t judge you and instead sees the way you observe, it’s like an oasis in a desert of parched relationships- a refreshing experience.

The simple art of Listening

You first have to get clarity on what he really wants. In fact, even he could be unaware of what he’s saying. He may say, “I am terribly angry with you” but could mean, “I am hungry and tired. I need food and rest.” The journey to recognize and express our needs clearly is a long one. Many forever remain disconnected, and if you help them get it, you have earned a life-long friend.

To be continued…

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