“Shhh. Be quiet, or they’ll hear us,” she said in a whispered voice. I then exclaimed, “I have no shame!” Suddenly, she started talking in a normal speaking voice. I explained to her that sometimes I have volume control issues. She laughed it off, but she also realized that I was being serious. Throughout our conversation, she kept looking at me inquisitively as if she was repeating every word and questioning what I said back to herself in her own mind. Later that night, she surprised me by repeating something I had said back to me verbatim when I asked her for her opinion on something. It was her way of letting me know that she understood me. Most of all, this action told me that I mattered and I already had the answers to my own questions: even if I didn’t want to realize it. It seemed that our conversation had gone in a small circle, but it was slightly different this time around because of the small changes in the topic. The conversation flowed on its own without either of us feeling forced to say anything. Instead of small talk, I have yet to have a lackluster conversation with this woman. She understands me and doesn’t judge me for anything. Pure and unconditional acceptance allows us to talk about any topic without fear of embarrassment.
Have a meaningful conversation with someone today and actually listen to them rather than just hearing them. Active listening is a long-lost art form that should be practiced as often as possible.