Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Garden of Friendship

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Hello --- its about time to water those gardens again, is it not? Today I want to talk briefly about the listening ear.

Scenario set up:

You've waited for days to tell a close friend about an experience you went through. Finally, you know she is available so you give her a call. While you are talking, you notice that her answers aren't always appropriate to your statements. Listening to the background noise coming from the other end of the phone, you hear her fingers busily TYPING as you are talking. This isn't the best feeling!

I must admit that I have done this -- especially to my poor mom. We talk every morning on the phone, and sometimes we type in each other's ears. Sorry mom! But seriously, this is not a good habit to get into.

Another common problem that we have is thinking about our response while someone else is talking. This prevents us from truly listening the way we should.

Follow-up is another area of need. When a friend asks us for prayer, we shouldn't glibly say "I'll be praying!" I realized that I was typing this into many comment boxes on many blogs -- making it impossible to remember all the requests that I was promising to pray for. A simple notepad will solve this problem. Just write the name and request down, and you will be able to pray when you promise to. You will also remember to follow up on the request and see how the person is making out.

Try to practice listening this week. I will too! Girls, those gardens are lookin' great ...


Ella said...

I needed to be reminded of this. I try to listen to people and give them my undivided attention. However, the reminder to actually be praying when we say we will was very good. I try to always pray as I type the words!

Neesie said...

Once again wonderful advice. I have often found myself talking to someone in person or on the phone, and realized that I really wasn't listening to them at all! My mind was somewhere else entirely. The "I'll be praying one" is something I needed to hear as well. If you haven't noticed already, that is one of my favorite "comment lines"! By the way, that picture is way too cute. :-)

Sara said...

Thanks for the great reminder Bev!!!

Beverly said...

Thanks girls! I'm trying this week to do better with my listening skills. I don't have too much trouble with listening in person, but I need to work on giving my undivided attention when I am on the phone -- right Mom?

Maxine said...

Yes, right! But who am I to talk?


Laura said...

very true...I know I'm probably not as good a listener as I should be...I'll pray that God will help me to be better though. Thanks for another great reminder!

Sisters in Christ said...

Listening is one of the lessons I have had to learn this past year. I'm very talkative, and so sometimes it wasn't even outside interferences - I just wouldn't stop talking long enough to listen.

Another struggle I have with listening is the TV. I usually chat with my friends while I'm in the TV room so I can at least be around my family while I'm chatting, but I'm very easily distracted by the TV, and it takes away from my conversations with friends. Lately I have had to start making the effort to go upstairs to chat.

It can be very hard to give a friend your undivided attention at time, but it is well worth it. I believe that being open, and listening are to of the three most important building blocks of friendship. If you can communicate with your friends most other problems can be solved with relative ease.

~ Katie