Being heard is possibly the most important part of leading the life we want. When someone hears us, whether they agree or not, we know that the other person knows what we would like to see happen. How can you make yourself heard without yelling? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re not hearing me?” They’re not accusing you of not listening. Presumably you are not only listening but responding to what they’re saying. The accusation is that you are not adequately processing and understanding those words and the emotions and situations underlying them.
We all have experiences of not being heard. It happens. Sometimes people who normally hear us are having a bad day; sometimes we’re dealing with someone who just doesn’t care if we get what we need or not, and sometimes we run into people who do hear us, but pretend they do not, so that they do not have to help us with our request, problem, or whatever.
I work with coaching clients to help them create lives they want and love. One thing I know my clients want is to be heard, because they often tell me about a new doctor and say, “I felt like he heard me,” or they complain about not being heard in an important discussion at work.
Being heard is perhaps the most important part of leading the life we want, because when we are heard, we know that the person is at least trying to understand, and we have the opportunity to really interact and work to make things the way we want them to be. It’s what intimacy is all about.
If we’re heard, even if we’re not agreed with, at least we and the other person know what we would like to see happen. We’re looking at the same map, and we can negotiate the route.
There are people, by the way, who pretend to hear you and don’t act. These are people who say, “I know you only have three minutes, so I’ll be quick.” These people are still on the phone ten minutes later. You literally have to say, sometimes, “I have to go,” and then hang up.
Yes, they did hear you say you didn’t have time to talk. They also didn’t care, because talking fit their agenda. They pretended to hear you. They said, “I hear you.” But then they ignored what they heard, because it didn’t work for them.
I believe that in life we’re going to have people not hear us, and people ignore us and try to manipulate us into doing what they want, even when they know it’s not what we want.
I also believe the majority of people really want to hear what we’re saying and to communicate with us on a personal basis.
What can you do to make yourself heard?
- Define what you think it means when someone really hears you.
- This week, if someone doesn’t hear you, how do you know?
- Find a way to talk to one person about what you need them to hear when they’re listening to you.