Choosing Between Active Listening and Problem Solving

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

There is a fine line of difference between listening and hearing. And listening comes with the burden of responding. Or does it?
It often happens that someone discusses something important with us, taking us in that confidence, and trusting us to keep the faith entrusted. In our daily exchanges, we vocalise a lot of our crises, concerns, issues, and emotions. We share our stories and experiences with each other. And it is universally known that not all stories and experiences are studies in fortune. “It is really the inexplicable nature of the crisis that gives those wings to it,” some might say. The question then becomes, how do we select between listening and hearing. And secondly, if we
choose the former, how essential is a response to someone’s confiding in us.
We are not all unfamiliar with rants. As Anoushka Sharma, a student from DSJ points out, “I believe it is very important to rant once in a while. It relieves stress and baggage in one’s head(at least in my case).” Ranting has become a healthy trend increasingly. However, the certain claim of it being a healthy practice is only validated through the understanding and listening capabilities of your confidant. One of the important elements in the ‘college starter pack’ today is the ability to rant. When a person vents out their transgression, sometimes all that person seeks is just another person who listens, not a philosopher who serves active advice on dealing with
the subject triggering the rant. Positivity cannot be breathed in that easy sometimes. Being an active listener definitely requires your own emotional availability, as well.
Many of us must have made the mistake of offering pieces of advice to people about situations that we might have never experienced. Though experience is not truly the most deciding factor in your emotional growth, it is one of the important factors. We should realise that not having anything to say to someone after listening to their problems is absolutely normal. “It is always recommended to analyse the situation – that you are not a part of in the first place – as objectively as can be spared before you decide to comment on the issue,” says Debopriya Bhattacharya, a student of literature at Hindu College.
For every actively listened account, there is not an obligation to harvest an instant solution to the problem. Sometimes listening to the issue is all the solution that is needed. Although, in no way does it mean that you choose to remain ignorant of people’s cries for help. Simply put, you cannot enforce your advice on others for the sake of ‘helping them out’. You have to make a well-informed overview of the issue, rather than offering half-baked guidelines. You cannot live other people’s lives for them, because you have your own to sustain. So the next time you are party to someone’s expression of emotions, do not be too eager to comment or solve the emotional riddle harboured in the waves of crisis. In stead, listen intently. Not just to respond, neither to sympathize, but just to listen.

Feature Image Credits: Strikemag

Kartik Chauhan
[email protected]

Comments are closed.