30 Days of Being a Love Machine: Day 14
Day 14 Challenge:
Call/text someone you love and ask them about their day. Make the conversation about them and only them. You can talk about you next time. And, refrain from judgment. Just be supportive.
In theory, this sounds super simple. In practice, it’s a bit different. We’re taught to be polite creatures. So, when we ask anyone how they’re doing or how their day was, their automatic response is to ask the same even if there’s no interest in a genuine answer.
We may all think we’re good listeners. And, most of us definitely try. As Alfred Brendel has said, "The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent." So, if you’re talking and midway through someone’s sentence, you’re already thinking of a response, you may want more practice. Bela Gandhi of Today has some suggestions. Numbers 5 and 3 don’t apply in this exercise, but the rest are definitely helpful tips.
Alright, how does this go? You’re going to call or text this person you love and ask how they’re doing - dig beyond the “Good. And, how are you?” routine. You can be vague in your answer or simply say “I’m really just calling to see how you’re doing. What’s happening in your life?” This may throw some off, but they’ll typically come around.
[Sidenote: if you’re someone who responds without thinking much beforehand, texting might be a safer bet for you.]
Your opinions aren’t necessary. They may be asked for; subsequently, refrain from judgment and keep the conversation around them, not how you would handle the situation. Follow-up questions are a good deterrent. You’re simply here to support.
Some of you may think, all I do is listen to people all day; it’s literally my job, and I’m drained from it. If this is how you typically feel, you may be venting all day to your family/friends when all they want is to be listened to. They didn’t choose your job for you, so they shouldn’t be punished for it. Don’t get me wrong - you deserve to be heard too. For this exercise, just try giving this energy to someone you love and let that love be your saving grace.
Listening to people and being there for them, emotionally, really does make you feel better. And, it definitely makes them feel better.
I remember when my Pops first did this for me. I was caught off guard. But, it was nice. It made me feel that he really took the time to care about me and my life’s happenings.
You can do this! This is definitely a challege. You are getting stronger in being a Love Machine. Move through your heart space and keep your love in this exercise. After you’ve had a hard day, it may just boost your mood.
Is this just not the day for you? You can catch up on any past challenges you’re behind on or relive another challenge you really enjoyed and get back to this one tomorrow.