In a world where our words are powerful in creating our reality, the way we listen is equally powerful. It is one of the biggest ways to shift your relationships and build intimacy and trust.
Mindful listening is also called holding space. It is a simple practice.
Here it is:
When someone else is talking, fully focus on them - be fully present with them. Make them the object of your meditation.
When another person is talking, our minds have a tendency to think about how we are going to respond. We usually end up jumping in and interrupting. These days, conversations seem to be more like games of interrupting then actual interactions of give and take.
So when someone is finished talking give a little space by pausing, just for a moment, to see if they have anything else to say.
Holding space is incredibly important especially in difficult conversations as well as in relationships to build intimacy.
We do this not only by listening fully and being present, but also by not judging, trying to fix, or give advice.
Often times people just need a safe place to share. Chances are if they are sharing with you, you are important to them and they feel safe with you. They trust you.
We break trust by interrupting, judging, trying to fix, or giving unwanted advice. Perhaps your partner or loved one just needs to share without fear of retribution. This builds trust and intimacy instantly and in a big way.
If it's a particular difficult conversation, then each partner should take turns expressing themselves in this manor. One person talking, the other holding space. And then switching.
I encourage you to try it out and see what shifts in your relationships.