Compassionate listening validates the other person and acknowledges their pain.
Respect that the pain that your friend/client is experiencing is real to them, even if you don't understand it or it seems inconsequential to you. You don't need to understand the experience, but you can feel… Hold the feeling of being non-judgmental even if you disagree with something.
Silence in conversation can feel awkward. Silence, however, can be nurturing to a person in pain. It offers them time to feel and gather their thoughts. Your client may be using silence to rest or to remember. Allow them that.
Listen for themes or for what is not said. Sometimes people feel lost in the details of their experience or the pain may be too great and fragmented for them to notice something larger.
Allow for repetition. Sometimes the pain is not expressed to its fullest extent the first time.
Know that you cannot fix the other. This is not what is needed. Your role is to create a healing environment in which the other can share their pain with another.
For more resources on creating more vitality, joy and connection in your relationships, download my free 3-part video series here: www.bev.co.il
This is what A. had to say about our work together. "I have just completed six sessions with Bev. She has been an attentive and sympathetic listener and has been very helpful in her comments and suggestions. I am very grateful for her help. "