What are you planning to get your special someone for Valentine’s Day? There’s always the sensuous pleasure of a box of chocolates or the visual rapture of fresh flowers. How about an expensive fragrance that turns heads and transforms bystanders into willing puppets to your every whim?
Beyond the TV and magazine ads for the products that say “I love you and I’m not very original,” there is a gift that can be just as sensuous as a box of chocolates, brighten your day more than a bouquet of flowers, and have a longer lasting impact than an exotic perfume: generous listening.
As a generous listener, you give your special someone your full attention. You engage your curiosity, suspend judgments, and seek to understand both the meaning and the motivation of what you are hearing. You inhibit your instincts to comment, suggest, and advise. Instead, you focus on reflecting what you are hearing.
Want to make it romantic? Wrap a little note in a small box with a ribbon. Express your love and offer to give your special someone a specific amount of generous listening: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes…true love might even qualify for an hour’s worth. OMG!
Let them pick the time or times and be there for them when they ask for it. When they do ask, find a quiet place where you can be comfortable facing each other. Make some body contact: hold hands, put hands on shoulders, even hug. Then ask a simple question like “What would you like me to hear?” Stay in generous listening mode until the end of the agreed upon time.
So what says, “I love you” better than a box of chocolates? Generous listening!
If this is what you do with your special someone every day, go ahead and get the chocolates.
Photo by: Jeltovski