There are times when you quit listening … Of Course!

I often say the key to good pastoral work, the key to life coaching, the key to mentoring, the key to counseling, indeed, the key to good communication, is listening.

Because a person truly listened to will be a person who feels loved.  Indeed they hardly will know the difference between being listening to and feeling loved.  BUT … someone asked me if there are times when we should no longer listen.  Good question and the answer is YES.

“Such as?” they asked.

Here are a few things that come to mind…

* When people are merely critics and not in the least interested in your insights.
* When your character is personally attacked.
* When people only whine.
* When people have zero regard for your time.
* When you discern people want your advice but have no real interest in taking it.
* When people want your validation for whatever it is they already have decided to do.
* When no matter what you say, people respond by saying: “It can’t be done.”
* When people constantly focus on the negative.

There are times when you take care of yourself by putting up reasonable boundaries.  Allowing someone to walk all over you has nothing to do with being a good listener.  If you don’t have boundaries, you can quickly become bitter.  And who wants to walk around feeling used and bitter all the time?

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