“I hear you.”
That’s it. That’s everything.
Sometimes the most important thing you can ever say to anyone is that you hear them. That you have witnessed their words, their emotions…and that you don’t judge them or feel the need to resolve or fix their situation. You simply stand in their presence and let them say what they need to say.
Two years ago, I went through a terrible breakup. One that destroyed me in so many ways…and while I was going through that, so many friends rallied around me. So many listened to what I had to say and offered up their thoughts on how I might feel better. And, while I so needed to hear it all and I appreciated every word of it, I found that the friends who just let me talk and didn’t cover their discomfort with some off-handed response on how I was “better off without him”, were the people whom I really needed the most.
It can be incredibly tough to listen quietly and just be someone’s “ear”. Our inclination might be to make the other person feel better by offering a casual, “Don’t worry…it’ll get better.” Or, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” While it almost always comes from a place of genuine desire to help, sometimes we must remember that in silence, there is so much strength.
I often think of how I can say what I need to say in as few words as possible. A lot of times I come to the conclusion that I don’t need to say a word…I only need to listen. A little space in conversations can be a good thing – it leaves room for thoughts, and appreciation of others.
Where is your silent strength? When and where is it appropriate for you to simply say, “I hear you”.
If you haven’t yet found the occasion, look for it. When you do, see how great it feels to let someone else know that you respect and love them enough to just listen.