Listening is one of the hardest things we do. I find it easiest to listen when I have no emotional attachment to what the other person is saying. I suppose most of us are that way.
As soon as the other person’s statements or voice pitch summons anxiety in me, then it is very difficult to listen.
Truth be told, more often than I’d like to admit, I reach the point where I can’t listen any longer. The words boil up inside of me and I must blurt them out, the way a pressure cooker blows its safety value. I’ve quit listening and started making subjective evaluations about the words, the situation, the other person, and even myself. Instead of listening, I’m thinking about myself.
But when I can remain calm and unattached, no matter how emotional the other person becomes, then I remain focused on the other person. I listen with an open mind and a kind heart. That’s the kind of listening I want to practice and use with proficiency.