We communicate with others on a daily basis, so why does it feel like we widows aren’t connecting with them?
As a widow, when you need to address something unsetting, do you find it best to wait until you feel calm? If the conversation becomes heated, do you take a break reassuring the other person that you will revisit the issue later on, at a set time?
Don’t start thinking that there is only one solution and that you know what it is. Instead really listen, and be open by thinking about what outcomes really matter to you.
To avoid assumptions, start by asking yourself some questions. Sometimes we widows get so intent on telling our side of a story, that we forget that they also have a story to tell.
- Focus fully on what they have to say.
- Make eye contact.
- Ask them questions.
- Be open to hearing other’s opinions.
- Active listening is really listening with your all.
- Insert short acknowledgements, example: un-hun, O.K.
If you really listen, they will feel truly heard and they are more likely to return that favor by listening to your point of view.
Yes, we widows need to be free to express our grief and have others listen to us. But, and this is a big but, others may also be hurting and they also need to express their own grief. Your relationships will be so much better when both sides care enough to really listen.