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Reflective Listening - Can You Do It?

Discussion in 'General' started by ryair, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. ryair

    ryair Active Member

    Hi everyone!!!
    Ever had those times when you feel you just are'nt being heard? Or someone close to you has the same old whinge about something you are sick to death of hearing?:crybaby:
    Poeple get extreamly closed off to other people, and it is no accident communication breaks down in everyone's day to day stuggles with life.
    There is a technique called Reflective Listening that will certainly help you through life if you wish to use it. It requires you to listen when a person is talking to you, and relay back to that person what they have just said.
    For example;
    Mary: I've been sooo busy all day and you cant even help me bring the washing in!! Cant you see Im tired!!!!!
    This lady is tired, frustrated, and just wants to be heard, and to let off some steam!!!
    John; Well Excuse Me for Finally Sitting Down After A Hard Day At Work!!!!!
    He cant believe she just sounded off at him!!! He only just got home from a hard day at work!!!
    All these two see is how THEY are feeling. They never actually HEAR what the other person said. They never bothered to stop for a minute and assess the situation.
    With Reflective Listening, it could go like this.....
    Mary; I've been sooo busy all day and you cant even help me bring the washing in!! Cant you see Im tired!!!!
    John; What you are saying is, that you have been really busy all day, and that you are really tired. You would have apprieciated a hand bringing in the washing?.
    This opens the line of communication to CALMLY discuss the matter. 'Mary' Will be happy, because she felt she was heard. 'John' will be able to sympathise with her tiredness and express how work is getting them both down. Perhaps they can now figure out ways to alleviate some of the strain on each other.
    All of this is day to day stuff. It is amazing how much you actually really do "hear". You get to the root of the problem, before it actually becomes a biggy!!!
    To repeat what the other person is saying, does not make what they are saying true, it just reflects that you listened.
    Listen not just with your ears, but with your mind, and your heart.
    goingonhope likes this.
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  3. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

    ryair, loved it. Again, thank you for sharing this with us. Awesome!..............'Reflective Listening' !!!

    You can count on it....I'll be practicing this.

    Take care, ryair
  4. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    A good topic Ryair... I learnt reflective listening when I was 28 I think, and I must say its one very powerful process to use in order to calm any situation or conversation... it actually generates conversation, as you mentioned. Generally ministers, counselors and those type of positions are taught this technique in order to counsel. I was fortunate enough to be taught it by an Army Chaplain at a training course I did in how to command more effectively. It was about these type things, how to get things out of people without really solving their problems, more simply let them know that you are listening, and they will do all the talking... it works. I use it every day, here even...
  5. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    It's called paraphrasing in canada.. good topic..

  6. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

    I have heard of this & at times I try to apply it.

    I was just wondering if with using it with someone with PTSD & the short term memory issues if it may sometimes confuse them?

    At times when I try it with hubby he sort of gives me a look as if to say I just said that ,or did I?
  7. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Jods, its also more about that people want to know, or need to know at that time, that you are actually listening. Not everyone really needs to know your listening, because if they already know you are, reflective listening would just piss them off. It actually works best on females, because females need reassurance during conversation that a person truly is listening to them, but more to the point, they are being understood for what they are trying to say.
  8. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

    That's so true.
    If I try it with my female friends they respond to it. I think some guys tend to think your taking the p... out of them when you do it with them.

    Just had a thought, isn't that just what kids do when they are in "parrot mode" when they first start to talk. Hmm, now if we just let them develop that skill....
  9. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    A more effective way to do it with males, is not repeat back what they say directly, but more a few word interpretation you have taken, which a male responds too without thinking your generally taking the piss from them. Males are made up of few words, they speak only the points, and if reflective listening is used on them, the majority need only a few word composite interpretation fed back, and that will prompt them to continue without thinking your being clever with them or pulling the piss out of them.
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