We all just want to be heard. Often, we do not want advice or someone to fix us, we just want to be listened to. This is the basis of any Conflict Resolution work. To hold a space for each person to be heard without being reacted to in anger. Sometimes, people say things that makes our blood boil. We may feel their views are so narrow minded we want to hit them on the head or scream at them, but arguing back rarely changes anything. To free each other from a cycle of conflict it only takes one person to say nothing, to just listen. There are times when asking a question can help bring what is really behind a person’s anger to their awareness.
I have experienced many people, even strangers, who wish to give me their opinion about my choice to home educate our children. When the opinion is full of negativity or judgement, I will often listen for a few moments and then stop them by asking a question such as “What was school like for you?” or sometimes, I might smile, and say “I See” before moving away. This acknowledges I have heard them, but I do not need to explain, justify or defend my choice, there is nothing more say.
(Photo by http://jasonking.org.uk)