I tend to want to give advice. Of course, it comes from a place of love; I often have journeyed a similar road, or I have gained some knowledge or wisdom on the subject, and I want to share this with the dear friend or family member. However, it is often met with frustration because people are often really just wanting to unload their hurts, and not get the solution.
I don’t tend to ask enough good questions. If I do ask questions, it’s more of a “prying” type of question, but I want to improve on the curiosity mindset. I make assumptions and/or ask leading questions instead of just listening intently, and BEING with the person through the struggle.
Missed out the DO…
I do not listen long enough attentively – I tend to be able ‘to pick up’ quite fast, and not patient enough for then person in need to narrate his/her stories again and again. Insufficient curiosity to enter the person’s world.
I “back off” when I sense trouble, feel inadequate. I “back off” by referring the person to a professional, to a support group.
Out of the 3 basic “don’ts – the one I most do is give advice – I tend to say if that was me Iwould do this or that and you should try it. Or this is what I did you should try it. I feel I have the solution to help them and if they dont do it then I dont have much to say to them again about it.
Out of the three basic do’s – I tend not to ask questions – to me its like prying or being nosey or forcing them to open up about their situation if they didnt offer it on their own- Thats how I would feel.
I tend to pray on the spot with them as I always thought that would help set the tone right. To invite Holy Spirit into our meeting. Then we normally end with thanksgiving prayer and to remind them God is always listening and love His children. And He is the One providing the comfort and clarity and Hope. I also find myself sending them scriptures and praise songs that I feel will help them focus of God in the midst of their struggle.
I think I need more patience when I’m listening. My mind tends to wonder and jump to connecting the dots and judging almost right at the beginning of the sharing. Help me, Lord. Help my heart beat synchronise with Yours, ABBA!