Five Minute Friday: Pause

Pause

Gentle Reader,

I don’t know how people go through life without dogs. Two little, fat, four-legged old men follow me around the house all day long. What are you doing?, they say, tails wagging. When will you take a nap so we can nap? Can I help (by getting right under your feet)? Is that cheese? Can I have some? Rough paws and soft fur and sandpaper tongues and snoring and belly rubs and sitting right next to me, pressed against my legs, because they just want me to know that everything is okay and we are safe.

God made plain His existence when He created dogs.

Kate says: pause.

Go.

This unnerving video made the rounds this week:

Those sounds will probably haunt your dreams tonight. You’re welcome.

Many have pointed out that this video is illustrative of many internet conversations. Everyone screams, nobody is heard. I’d remove the word “internet” from that sentence. How often do you come away from talking with someone with the sense that you haven’t been listened to at all? That the other was so wrapped up in making a point or defending a position that he couldn’t see any validity in what you were saying?

It’s frustrating. Depressing.

In order to listen, we have to pause. Stop our mouths from running for just a moment (a Herculean task) and really let someone else’s words break into our minds. We may not agree with what they’re saying. We may even disagree so strongly that the less refined versions of ourselves would body-slam that person. But we have to pause. We have to give others the respect of hearing them out. Because we want it. We want to be heard. We want to know that others will take the time to listen.

Practice the pause in conversation. Lean forward a little. Pay attention to the words, the tone, the body language. Ask for clarification instead of making assumptions. Remind yourself that you don’t know everything and you can always learn from anyone with whom you interact. Give people the space to speak.

Because you need it, too.

Stop.

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9 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Pause

  1. Great post, Marie, and I agree completely about dogs. Your description reminded me of Barb’s Dachshund, Bray (only she’s young, and female).

    Not up to writing much now, but you reminded me in this post of one of my favourite scenes from Guardians Of The Galaxy. I hope it’s OK that I share it?

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  2. Yes!! There is a weekly group I attend and there is an individual who always has to have the last word. It’s so frustrating because I try my hardest to pause and listen to all sides etc. I’m over in the 35 spot this week.

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    1. That is hard, when someone monopolizes the conversation like that. As a small group leader, I am (slowly!) learning how to gently turn someone like that back to the topic and how to get them to back off and leave space for others. It’s definitely a process.

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  3. That video is amazing, and you draw a great point out of it too. We need to learn to pause and listen to others, especially when we disagree. I’ve been reading The Listening Life by Adam McHugh and it has highlighted to me again just how important and powerful listening is.

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    1. It’s so hard. Once, years ago, I was really upset with someone. This person wasn’t aware that I was upset at the time and said something that God wanted me to hear. I had a difficult time accepting it. The Holy Spirit asked me if I was going to be willing to learn from her, despite what I was feeling. Difficult to accept, but a question I’ve never forgotten.

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  4. Hey! I discovered your blog through the Five Minute Friday linkup. I really enjoyed your writing style. Thanks for reminding me of how important pausing can be in conversation. I must admit I struggle with this sometimes with certain people in my life. I would love it if you could please take the time to check out my post for five minute friday at faithfilledfeathers.blogspot.com/and let me know what you think of it. I’m looking forward to reading more posts from you. 😊

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