e-book Listen to the Silence - a 10 minute short story
It helps us see in a person with whom we have a conflict, a man of flesh and blood who has the same feelings and needs as we. It also helps to look beyond words and actions to see what lies deeper. Finally, I have a question for you: have you ever wondered why are you listening? What is your intention?
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Do you want to understand the other person? Are you curious about their world? Our listening is often selective and not very attentive. It happens that we stop listening, because we start to remember our own story in our head, or we reflect on our answer.
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Sometimes the silence that may soon come is so frightening that we want to be prepared to quickly say something wise. That is why it is so important to be aware of the intentions with which we listen. If our intention is to support the other person , give them full attention and space , then we listen differently than when the intention is to quickly settle the matter , or when we listen, because we are afraid to interrupt.
We also listen differently when we are just curious about the story or want to get some useful information.
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I hope that the ways of empathic listening described in this article will increase your awareness , make it easier for you to understand others and improve your relationships. I recommend attending a workshop in NVC — check this link to join my workshops or contact me to book your one-on-one training contact empathiceurope.
You can also make an appointment with someone for a private empathy session. It may be someone from your friends, your partner or a person you met during an NVC workshop. Below I present an exemplary agenda of such a meeting. My suggestion is to not extend the time of one person, because it is important that everyone has the opportunity to speak and listen.
An example of a division of time when person A speaks and person B gives empathy:. I hope this article has been helpful for you. I wish you a lot of empathic encounters and if any questions arise, just write them in the comment below. Magdalena Malinowska Poland Life-coach and trainer. I help in implementing Nonviolent Communication NVC in relationships, companies and non-governmental organisations.
Another character in the story, Claude, an Haitian-born young man who was expelled from the US after committing patricide, is also a palannit. Claude was a palannit, a night talker, one of those who spoke their nightmares out loud to themselves. Words are once again used to raise a wall against suffering and keep silence at bay. As the narrator of the Epilogue says in Krik? But silence is also worked into the text as an empowering tool.
If silence is a tool of oppression, it can also be used as a tool of liberation, just as language and literature were once used in the imperialist scheme and revertedly in the decolonising process. The fact that communication is closed upon itself not only heightens the pathos but also ties in with what is being said in the story.
The context is that of the darker years of the Duvaliers regime in the s, one of silencing and abducting, systematic rape and torture. The boy had taken part in resistance actions that involved a radio broadcast, the private voice thus being projected into the public sphere. I thank god you got out when you did. The family of the girl disagrees over whether they should intervene, they listen in, the father forcing his wife to remain silent. There is a crack at the bottom of the boat that looks as though […] it will split the boat in two. The captain […] used some tar to clog up the hole.
People are just watching. Now we have three cracks covered with tar.
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The text delivers in parallel the two streams of consciousness, visually differentiated on the page — and this is another proof if need be of the importance of the organization of the written space in the problematics of speech and silence. But beyond the physical silence worming its way into the page, a strange kind of dialogue unwittingly operates between the two women as they seem to respond to each other in spite of the cross-generational and cross-cultural divide.
Surely this is too small for a meaningful message. What great message to another civilization can you possibly send with only bits of information? On a computer, the only files that small would be limited to…. Was it possible? Were they really sending a message to us in our own language?
As I finish piecing together the message, my stomach sinks like an anchor.
The words before me answer everything. Sign In Don't have an account?
Start a Wiki. That was, until about five minutes ago. This would revolutionize every field I have ever worked in — astrophysics, astrobiology, astro- The signal is beeping again. On a computer, the only files that small would be limited to… Text. E… As I finish piecing together the message, my stomach sinks like an anchor.
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