Happiness: A Theory — The Gift of Listening

Another component of a personal theory of happiness may be the willingness to listen. It seems that we all share a craving to be heard, to have others receive our story. Phenomena such as this blog are an illustration of this craving, I believe. Michael Nichols observes: “The reason we care so much about being listened to is that we never outgrow our need to communicate what it feels like to live in our separate, private worlds of experience. Unfortunately, there is no parallel need to be the one who listens. Maybe that’s why listening sometimes seems to be in short supply. Listening isn’t a need we have; it’s a gift we give.”

I submit that when we fathom the lesson of Nichol’s excellent work, The Lost Art of Listening, and we seek to give that gift, we enrich our lives, and, hence, our sense of well being.

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