Soon after I was disabled, my confidence went flat like a deflated balloon. No one seemed to think I was important or worth listening to. When discussing my health, many people (doctors, social workers, friends, etc.) treated me like a dumb pet that couldn’t think. They would not seriously listen to me. They listened and communicated with my mother. It was as though I was incapable of understanding or adding value to a conversation. I noticed for the first time what little importance was placed on the disabled. However, those who did listen to me gave me the support I needed to gain confidence and see remarkable healing in my body. They are the type of people I (and other sometimes disadvantaged member of society, such as persons with disabilities, seniors, immigrants, etc.) will always support; whether they need customers, listeners, help or just a friend. Could you use more contacts and supporters? Learning to listen to everyone with the whole body is a great start.
So how do we listen with our bodies, and show people what they are saying is important to us? One way is to clearly display that we are paying attention use Attending Skills. Attending, according to Robert Bolton, is having a posture that displays involvement and alertness in a relaxed way. There are several things we can do with our bodies to help us pay attention and display to the speaker we are paying attention. Here are six.
These are much easier said than done. But it is worth it. Non-verbally saying to someone who is speaking that you are listening and you find what is being said important, can tremendously influence your success in life.