My favorite way to live life is “one-on-one” over a cup of coffee.
It’s honest. Real. Eye-to-eye.
With fewer voices involved, conversation is more likely to dive beneath the surface, into the deep.
I like meaningful conversation. I’m not a “chit chat” kind of guy.
For there to be communication, someone likely needs to speak. And in most cases, both parties should.
But there are occasions when one person needs to speak, to spill, just be heard. And the other use no words at all. Or a select few at most.
People want, and need, to be heard. Whether they speak a sentence, a paragraph or a chapter at a time – they are seeking someone to listen.
Enter the struggle.
I can be more at ease offering opinions or words of advice than I am to listen.
Listening takes discipline. And discipline is hard.
Listening feels less in control. And I like control.
Listening says “your words and thoughts matter”, “your struggle matters”, “your joy matters”. “You matter.”
I can express that without a spoken word. I simply listen to theirs.
It might be uncomfortable. That’s ok.
I have to believe that their words are as important as mine.
At the appropriate time, the most helpful, encouraging or supportive thing I might say is…….nothing.
Just be present. Truly.
Look them in the eye. Sincerely.
Remain silent. Patiently.