All of us who grieve long to have someone to talk to who is skilled at empathetic listening. What is empathetic listening you ask? An empathetic listener is someone who hears conversation authentically. This person will really try to understand your feelings despite their own opinions or experiences.
Walking through grief alone can be a struggle. Nobody understands or having nobody to talk to about your pain can make it all the more painful. Having a good therapist, counselor or just a good friend to talk to is so important.
Characteristics of being an empathetic listener for Grieving Loved Ones
Resonate on an emotional level
This simply means they understand you on an emotional level.
Connection is most important
Someone who is an empathetic listener has the ability to connect with you and what you are saying. It is so much easier to be open with someone when you feel a soul connection with them.
Respect feelings whether or not they agree with them.
For some it is hard to keep their opinions to themselves. An empathetic listener will respect your feelings and truly try to “walk a mile in your shoes” so to speak. If they disagree with your stance or the way you are grieving they will be able to look past it and look into your heart and intentions.
Listen to understand
So many people listen to respond. Giving advice and pointing out your flawed thinking is the default for many listeners. Their heart may be in a good place but it doesn’t make you feel that way. An empathetic listener will be able to take out their own biases and simply hear you and validate your experience.
Empathetic listening comes natural to some. The ability to connect with people without judgement or feeling the need to correct others is a gift. All hope is not lost for those who are not empathetic. With a little bit of mindfulness, it is a skill that can be improved on
Healthy Social Interactions and connecting intimately with others make us happier. Grieving loved ones need an empathetic listener, you can be one. You also may need to vent yourself. Wherever you stand in the grief story being aware of the benefits of empathetic listening can really improve on the healing process. Seek out grief support and be sure that it includes an empathetic listener.