How to respond when someone vents at you

    Discover the power of compassionate listening.

    Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh beautifully conveys the power of our ability to truly listen to each other from a space of compassion. The next time someone comes to you wanting to vent, full of frustration, upset, hurt, pain, worry, distress and you don’t know what to say… remember this video.

    Perhaps what you say is not important. Perhaps saying nothing, and instead being a space of compassionate listening for them to empty themselves of pain, is all that is required.

    Share this video with people in your life, and together let’s create relationships where compassionate listening is the normal practise, a reflection of our intention and of our love for each other.

    I'd love to hear your personal experience and insights in relation to this topic. To share your valuable input, please scroll to the comments section below. I'll reply back to you as soon as possible.

    PS. If you haven't already seen my free 4-part video series "Live with Inner Peace", click here to watch it (inner peace is the most important state of being that you can create inside of yourself. It provides you with the power to experience life on YOUR terms, and not be at the whim of other people, events or circumstances affecting how you feel!)

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    5 Responses

    1. Aash

      Hi Bernadette

      Great post as usual.. True power of compassionate listening.. really interesting.. It remind me of something I read in a book few years ago….

      “Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled”


    2. Pingback : Pinch Me Living with Bernadette Logue – Unleash Personally & Professionally A Shocking Response You Can Give When Someone Lashes Out at You » Pinch Me Living with Bernadette Logue - Unleash Personally & Professionally

    3. akhiok

      And how do you broach the fact that their perceptions are wrong? How do you get to that point? That’s an important part that is left out.

      1. Great question. One of our jobs in life, in our relationships (which are assignments for our growth), is to look at how we might shift our perception and evolve through whatever we are presented with, and to convey where we stand from a place of love and compassion. If you wanted to broach an issue with someone, one way might be to consider releasing any attachment to them being wrong in their view, action, position, and any attachment to personally being right. In a relationship we might consider that we are not there to point out to other people their wrong views. The Universe does a pretty great job of helping each one of us learn our lessons and eventually people come to see the truth about their own blocks and challenges in due course. It is easy to get attached to feeling we must right the wrongs we see, particularly in close relationships, or at the very least point out the wrongs. That is exactly what this video is about, letting go of that inclination and replacing it with a new energy and position… to invite greater understanding, listening, compassion and from that place you are more easily able to offer this person a new perspective. Practically speaking, if you are facing someone who is venting at you, of course communicating your position and feelings is valid. You might say “I hear what you are saying. I appreciate you feel strongly about this. I feel differently about it, I have a different perception. If you are open to me sharing my perspective, I would really like to share it with you so we can move forward”. If the person says no, then they are showing you that they are not yet ready to listen or open to engaging. If they say yes, you have an open door invitation to share your perspective. In sharing your perspective, we always want to do so from loving and compassionate energy… sharing what is true for us and what we see as possible, being observant of ourselves so that we don’t lose ourselves in ego and end up turning it into making the other person wrong and telling them their perspective isn’t valid. You can actually share a new viewpoint, and invite someone to see something differently, to awaken them to a perception that you think might be more healthy, balanced and positive, without every saying saying they are wrong and must change, and without judging their current position and opinion. I hope this helps and makes sense. Best wishes, Bernadette

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