Why is listening more important?

Listening

Listening is a basic skill, without which we cannot learn any language. Babies listen to human sounds and learn to say their first words. Yet we forget this when we have learnt to talk!

We interrupt, we disparage, we judge, we tune off, we argue, we shout when we don’t want to listen.

We can say a lot without actually uttering a word but listening is only possible if we pay attention.

Do you pay attention when you are listening? Just pause and think.

In today’s world, where multitasking is considered to be a superb skill, listening gets drowned in the maze of messaging, tweeting and checking updates on irresistible digital devices in our hands or the urge to catch up with our favorite shows.

A good communication can resolve all differences but both the sides have to listen. It is very easy to talk, talk and talk but when it comes to listening, often we presume what the other person has to say.

Just see how listening can do wonders:

  1. It facilitates effective communication:

When we are ready to listen we convey a calm message that we respect the other person, we are ready to dispel misunderstandings and arguments. As peter Drucker said, “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” When we listen quietly and courteously, we may pick up those unsaid feelers. When we look into the eyes of the communicator, we may catch those vibes, which wont reach us if we are distracted.

  1. It improves relationships:

Listening ushers warmth into our bonds, it fosters care and trust. We know we can talk about any issue and we would be given the required attention. When we don’t listen to other person’s perspective, we tend to create our own images, which could be highly misleading. It is better to discuss your prejudices than harbor them and let them breed misinterpretations.

  1. It helps us understand people:Listening quote

There are many kinds of people and we can’t possibly know them without a bridge of communication between us. Those who pretend to be our friends at our workplace, those who may exploit us for their own professional strength and those who just create rifts by badmouthing. How do we know their true value? Only by listening to their side of the story and keeping our relationship networks open can we truly know their worth.

  1. It can calm emotions:

Good listening gives a natural boost to positive emotions but at the same time it rebuffs negative emotions like angst, anger, fear and stress. All clouds of doubt and discord disintegrate. We feel loved and relieved as our pent up thoughts get an outlet. A lot of burden gets offloaded and we can move ahead with new hopes.

  1. It leads us to profound lessons

Listening can make us better persons as it can motivate, inspire and encourage us to accomplish our goals. We can gather a lot of information, develop working relationships with those we may not like and work on social interactions, which can define our hidden potential. It can drive introverts out of their shell, promote acceptance as a way of life and understand that imperfections are normal.

Please remember! Listening doesn’t mean getting intimidated and bullied into whatever the other person says.

It means a healthy exchange of ideas and thoughts so that we can understand each other better.

It means erecting an edifice of empathetic approach and to be more positive.

It means learning analytical skills, which can foster healthy living.

It means we need to control our outbursts, be more considerate and forthcoming.

If listening has not been taught to you, it is never too late.

“There is as much wisdom in listening as there is in speaking–and that goes for all relationships, not just romantic ones.”- Daniel Dae Kim

Do you value listening? What has it taught you? I would love to hear your views.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

 

What If Some Experiences Are Not Positive?

Positive thoughts

Is life so simple? Can we control our experiences?

I stumbled upon the above quote and got a lot of positive energy from it but a thought immediately crossed my mind…what if some experiences are not positive? What if positive feelings are not reciprocated?

All people are not alike. There may be such persons in your life who are always trying to find some reason to irritate you and spread unpleasantness.

Some of them are around us all the time, in the form of our family members or colleagues.

Have you ever given a thought that negative experiences leave a deep impact on us? It is very difficult to forget them whereas positive people just pass by and are easily overlooked or taken for granted.

Life does not remain positive at all times. It is at such a challenging and grim time that positive thoughts lose their track.

This mind is so strange. It also gets distracted from its positive path.

What drives negativity? Why is it so easy to jump into this messy pool?

People! Some people are selfish. They have their own designs; their ulterior motives can never be understood. Some are arrogant, they disseminate negative vibes; they always try to put you down. Some have narcissistic traits; their presence in your life can be quite detrimental. Some are manipulative; they try to exploit your goodness.

I know many such people.

People are like an ocean! Understanding them is like diving into an ocean.

Some deep, some so shallow!

Some never come to the shore some never leave it.

If you are fortunate, you might find a pearl!

Human behavior is quite intriguing, oscillating between darkness and light.

The values, emotions and the virtues are ingrained in human soul but at the same time the vices that ensnare us can easily sway our integrity. Hurts can lead us astray.

Lack of guidance, injustice and disappointments bring out the worst behavior.

Teasing, bullying, violence, intolerance, wreaking vengeance and driving others to take the extreme step of committing suicide in modern societies seems to be an addition to human behavior.

A new negativity? However, it is possible that it lurked there in some other unfamiliar form.

Human behavior has chiefly been influenced by society, culture, region and religion, which has strengthened with time. There have hardly been any significant changes in the core values and ethics that have guided it.

Fear and insecurity may bring some changes in human behavior but only for a short period of time.

Despair and disillusionments follow us everywhere. They also change our behavior. How do we react?

Hope

Disappointments often intimidate us but if we keep talking to the hopeful aspect of our mind, if we refuse to let our mind be clogged with the fear of failures, if we embrace the tenacity of our positive spirit, we can strengthen this sentiment and pass it on to our children who exemplify true hope.

Have you ever felt the power of positive spirit?

If disenchantments follow you, learn to cultivate hope, which is an inborn virtue. It lies dormant if it is not nurtured.

Observe a child carefully and you will see an amazing amount of resilience and hope for achieving even the unattainable. A child may fall or fail but the efforts to learn new things never wane. It is the inherent quality of hope and happiness, which keeps children going robustly towards their goal.

As their little feet start growing, hope grows within them. Each step they take, each game they play, this hope becomes sounder.

No child ever thinks of losing. Cynicism is unknown to them. Little failures may dishearten them for a while but they start again with renewed efforts. It is the hope that carries them forward to catch happiness.

Hope fills enthusiasm in their efforts. They look forward to their parents for encouragement and reassurance to accomplish their little goals. When they see happiness on their faces, their spirit soars further. Hence a positive approach and support nurtures hope and happiness.

Hope and happiness are so interconnected!

It is the hope of being successful which leads us to it and happiness follows effortlessly. While conscious efforts are required for all that we hope to accomplish, happiness just meets us on the way to success.

I have had many such experiences, which have shaken my positive spirit but I have always bounced back by convincing myself that this is just a passing phase, by reminding myself that all people are not positive.

What are your reflections about meeting positive people? What impact have they made on you?

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Can You Hear The Voice Of Nature? An Emotional Connection…

Voice Of Nature

This is the question I have often asked myself…

Nature speaks to us through its ineffable beauty; its voice is powerful and intense in all its forms.

And I have learnt to hear beyond the whispering willows… the whining of Mother Nature.

I could immediately relate to the veiled laments when my dear blogger friend Nihar asked the same question in his book… “Voice Of Nature”

So could Haiku, the little protagonist of this book whose innocence mingles with the wisdom and perception of his new friends who want to live with the same dignity they were born with.

The story of this book is set in Nandankanan Zoological Park, a 400-hectare zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

A critique on our relationship with flora and fauna, how we respond to them and how much of spontaneous love children develop for them, forms the basis of this book.

Haiku, a little boy is symbolic of human apprehensions, which often dilute at the altar of self-importance, pleasure and leisure.

Haiku’s own loving relationship with Mogli, the white tiger, Bani uncle, the ancient banyan tree and Kuki, the little bird speaks volumes about the future of our connection with nature.

The fact that Haiku can understand the language and emotions of animals, birds and trees symbolizes that we can hear the voice of nature if we possess the inclination and the disposition.

If we can think beyond our own interests!

If we want to nurture our relationship with Mother Nature.

We love to visit zoos; we have created such places to gloat about the care we shower on our animals but we forget that we keep them caged for our own amusement in the name of saving them from extinction.

Animal Love

Caged Mogli is the center of attraction but he yearns for those old days when he was free!

The banyan tree has been a witness to the disengagement of mankind.

Kuki, the little bird is trying to decipher the reasons behind all this. Her shouting at the tree cutters proves inconsequential.

None of them are familiar with the words ‘selfish’ and ‘profitable’!

It is ironic that the banyan tree is rooted yet it has gathered all the knowledge about the people who visit Nandankanan Zoological Park and the white tiger has been confined to one place yet he is expected to put up a pleasant face! Both of them seem to be hopeful and the hope lies in the little boy.

If we could “find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment”, as Pat Buckley said, we would think more like Haiku!

Nihar’s book inspires us to understand the divine bond of harmony, which exists between nature and man. It grimly reminds us, “There is a blurry boundary line between nature and civilization.” We must redefine it.

Albert Einstein also exhorted us “Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”

I would like to express my immense gratitude to Nihar Pradhan for sharing his book with me before its publication. I read it with great awe and admiration. It raises the hope that the younger generation would enhance their efforts to restore the lost glory of Mother Earth.

It also reminded me about my visit to Sariska National Park in Rajasthan, India where I could experience the beauty and bounty of wildlife and plant life. A home to numerous majestic animals including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger, this Park was said to have 25 tigers, living in their natural habitats but we couldn’t spot a single one!

Doesn’t it show that they possess a better protection sense?

Please share this post at your favorite social networks to express solidarity with this noble cause.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh

How Passive Aggression Can Be Harmful For Your Personality And Relationships

Passive aggression

Aggression has been defined as a ‘hostile or violent behavior’ towards others and when it becomes passive, it is extremely detrimental because it does not manifest itself, it remains under the surface and the façade of goodness misleads us till the simmering emotions overflow into a big explosion.

Such a behavior can be quite confounding for a layman.

According to Kendra Cherry, a Psychology expert, “The phrase passive-aggressive is used to describe behavior or a personality trait that involves acting indirectly aggressive rather than directly aggressive. Passive-aggressive people regularly exhibit resistance to requests or demands from family and other individuals often by procrastinating, expressing sullenness, or acting stubborn.”

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has classified passive-aggressiveness as many things throughout the years. It’s been called a “personality style”, “hidden hostility”, a “defense mechanism”, a “personality disorder” and “negativistic.”

How do we recognize such persons who may be around us – in the form of our near and dear ones? Some of the obvious signs may be glaring at you.

Signs of Passive Aggressive Behavior:

  • They are non-communicative and avoid dialogue.
  • They lack assertiveness.
  • Silent hostility and emotional blackmail is their weapon.
  • They avoid confrontation but are good manipulators.
  • They conceal their true feelings for a long time.
  • They fail to see reason and logic, even when explained.
  • They have no respect for others’ emotions.
  • They can be quite self-centered and vindictive.

Kelly often talks about renouncing this world. She wants a simpler life; she wants to calm her mind down as peace of mind has always eluded her.

She has made every possible effort to attain it within the confines of her home and culture. A vivacious and beautiful woman, she possessed the most captivating smile and could charm anybody with her personality…a disposition, which had been nurtured by the values of care, love, loyalty and integrity, so rarely found in the modern era of self-love.

A victim of passive aggression for almost ten years in her own home, she has been making the best possible efforts to deal with it but it has affected her own psyche so deeply that she is at the brink of a breakdown.

That is how passive aggression hurts, not only one person but also all those around us.

It spreads negative energy:People

People who are passively aggressive hold a lot of negative energy within themselves and it molds their thoughts. Since they choose to withhold all those feelings of anger and resentment within their heart and carry themselves, wearing a mask of pretended goodness, it cannot reach anybody. Negative vibes are strong enough to filter through their persona and can be felt by friends, siblings, spouse etc.

It fails to address practical problems:

Passive aggressive people evade real life problems and procrastinate, which keeps on building. Any work, which needs immediate attention, is deliberately ignored to prove their imaginative point because nobody could know what is going on in their mind. They behave as if they are absolutely comfortable with people they dislike, as they believe that they can solve their problems in their own silent way but they fail miserably.

It blocks communication:

When interaction with each other falls apart, when feelings and emotions are not discussed with an open mind and heart and when others are expected to determine the reasons of passive aggression, an untold harm is caused to both who display this behavior and those who have to bear the brunt of their attitude. Lack of communication is very unhealthy for relationships.

It ruins relationships:

Happy relationships thrive on a good, honest and truthful demeanor, which is given a boot by passively aggressive people. Since they have the tendency to do everything secretly and could lie to cover up, it becomes extremely damaging for relationships. Their façade gets exposed sooner or later as it is impossible to befool the people around us with whom we spend a considerable period of time.

It creates distrust:

Such people lose the trust of their closest possible kin, as their fake nature can be well understood. Can you rely on such a person who hides his real feelings and emotions? Once the trust is lost, it is very difficult to restore it. Even the honest intentions of such a person can be doubted, thereby making him/her vulnerable.

Passive aggression is like a volcano, waiting to burst when the anger becomes unbearable. Such a person needs empathy and therapy albeit he may resist all your efforts.

How to help yourself:

  • Self- talk to build up your confidence, keep your thoughts positive and your hope alive.
  • Keep your emotions especially anger under control to deal with such people.
  • Share your thoughts and emotions with a trusted friend or sibling.
  • Discuss and try to make the passive aggressor aware of the harmful behavior.
  • Seek professional help and therapy to keep the relationship alive.

Nothing can change overnight. Patience and consistent efforts to deal with such behavior may bring some positive results.

It is very easy to abandon such persons, as they would never even ask you the reason. However if they happen to be important in your life, you are in for some tough challenges.

Do you know any such people? How do you react to them? Do you possess any traits of passive aggression? I would love to hear your views.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

All Relationships Are Based On Emotions… Positive Or Negative

BALROOP SINGH

Image Emotions relate us to each other.

They are natural and spontaneous instincts, which are triggered by circumstances, environment or interactions. However, all relationships may not be positive because many negative emotions too creep in, despite our best efforts to keep them away.

 “Emotions are perhaps our most effective means of cross-species communication. We can share our emotions, we can understand the language of feelings, and that’s why we form deep and enduring social bonds with many other beings. Emotions are the glue that binds.”

Marc Bekoff

Do we form enduring bonds?

 The environment we create around ourselves, while expressing our emotions define our relationships, cement them or weaken them. Enslaved by emotions, we forget how fleeting they are! Isn’t it paradoxical?

 Love and anxiety:

Love, the basic and natural emotion binds us to each other as a family, in the form of siblings and relatives. Anxiety is so closely linked with love that it merges into it, taking a form often disliked by our own dear ones.

 ‘Why do you get anxious?’ They ask.

The answer lies in our emotional bindings, which get stronger slowly and cannot be understood by all. Anxiety for their security, anxiety for their wellbeing and success, anxiety for myriad other small occasions, considered insignificant by them… and that leads us to disconnect or anger.

 Anxiety and anger:

Where there is love, there is anxiety and there is anger! But it is ironic that love dissociates us finally. It is also the anger, which leads to disconnect. Too much concern, too much worry and disrespect for our emotions may antagonize us.

 The negative and positive emotions are so interconnected that it is hard to comprehend sometimes which of them becomes stronger to overrule the other.Image

Adolescent love disregards all other emotions and gets completely immersed in its own world. As it advances, it forgets all near and dear ones.

 As love matures, it takes a new form and may get sidelined for accomplishing new goals. In the pursuit of success we experience many new emotions like insecurity, jealousy, frustration, despair, determination, fear, pride, appreciation, contentment etc.

 All these emotions link us to our friends and colleagues in a positive and negative manner. We take pride in our friend’s success but that reminds us of our own failure, thereby stimulating our negative feelings and thoughts! It is better to pocket those emotions and use them to ignite our inspiration to accomplish something better.

 It is their own insecurity of performing below the expectations of their boss that leads people to criticize and let down good employees.

 I still need to understand certain emotions, which give pain and pleasure, which lead to attachment and detachment. I still need to grasp why hypocrisy is so dear to some people!

 I hope some of my readers will provide some valuable answers. Please share your thoughts.

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