It’s hard enough to be a good listener let alone listen for the other side of silence.
What a person is not saying – holding back, failing to or choosing to not communicate.
Often, the other side of silence is worth listening for because it can be more reliable than words.
Words can disappoint because people sometimes feel they have to say things in a certain way. Or, they may be uncomfortable with a topic and what they say really doesn’t match with what they mean.
The employer who says one thing and means another.
The friend or loved one who tries too hard to tell us what we want to hear.
To listen for the other side of silence requires being willing to ask a few questions, not be judgmental or argumentative when you hear words you may not like.
Effective communication between two people begins when they probe for meaning that may not first come out in words.
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