In Awareness in Practice - Part 1, I recounted how I recalibrated myself before settling in to have an enriching catch-up conversation with my friend.
It turns out that I wasn't the only one to practice self-awareness.
A segment of our conversation veered into health - from how I had released - I don't want to say "lost" because that implies a desire to find them - 30 pounds over the last year, to the trouble I had with my wrists and hands, no thanks to rheumatoid arthritis.
My friend then went on to suggest that I might want to visit her reflexologist for treatment. In the next breath, she said, "Listen to me, here I go fixing. I don't need to do that."
What's wrong with fixing?
I know where she was coming from - a position of care, concern and wanting to help. It's important to remember that not every share needs a fix. Sometimes, in voicing the challenge/issue/thoughts, a witness (you, the listener) is all that is needed. There is value in being heard. Have you ever noticed that when someone deeply listens, it's as if a solution to your problem is illuminated like the likes on a runway? The answers become clear.
As someone who loves to help and wants the best for you, I'm very cognizant of keeping my nose out of other people's health issues. I bite my tongue and refrain from telling them the signs, symptoms and solutions that I can offer. However, if and when they ask for my opinion or help, the conversation changes.
What can you do instead of fixing?
- Listen deeply. That means shooing your thoughts away from what your next comment will be.
- Wait until the person has finished speaking before you respond.
- Try asking some questions like: Do you want my opinion? How does...? What have you done so far?
- Trust your intuition. Sometimes the person does want help, but is uncertain how to ask.
- Notice how you are in the conversation.
- Look upon each conversation as an opportunity to practice. Debrief afterwards. What went well? What could you have done differently?What changed?
- Regularly address and undress your stress to help you deepen your conversations by staying in the moment. Stress takes you out of the moment and propels you into the depths of whatever is stressing you.