Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart ~ Thich Nhat Hanh


What Is Empathic Listening?  Like all other forms of connection, Empathic Listening asks that you pay attention and open a non-judgmental space where the other person feels safe and at ease. As we listen to another in any setting, be it therapeutic or friendly conversation, having the added ability to ‘put yourself in their shoes’ defines what Empathic listening is all about. This requires a stronger connection with the other person’s feelings so that they can feel heard, validated, supported and encouraged.  The special trick to this type of listening lies in its ability to your understanding that often the process takes time because the person doing the communicating may often be processing emotions which often are not linear in their nature and require you to clear your own mind of clutter so that you are able to be in silent presence for the other.  


Here are a few characteristics of Empathic listening to help you understand how it works and the quality of its presence.

Empathic listening:

  • Uses Suspended judgment
  • Is Aware of feelings and emotions in the communication including body language and non-verbal communication
  • Acknowledges the feelings and emotions being expressed by the speaker with mirrored language and encouraging nods of understanding
  • Allows silence and pauses
  • Reflects what you heard with paraphrasing statements
  • Lets the speaker lead the conversation
  • Responds only when it is appropriate


Some of the most powerful skills for Empathic Listening include:

  • Compassion and the ability to ‘feel with’ someone.’
  • Being patient to allow the speaker to gather and sort thoughts
  • Being a trustworthy presence who acts with integrity and discretion
  • Having self-awareness and self-control so that your biases and experiences are not superimposed on those of the person who is communicating with you


You can read the full information on this vital quality that can serve you well in every life situation. When we are listened to with love and understanding, the healing can begin in an authentic and powerful way.



Be well, Listen well


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