“People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know.” (James F. Hind) – I’m relatively sure that this little gem came to me from the Jack’s Winning Words blog some time ago.
I’ve written here before about being a good listener – https://normsmilfordblog.com/2015/03/27/listen-up-people/. Listening is just one indication that you care about the person that you are with and what they have to say. Going beyond just listening and engaging them in a meaningful conversation is another indication.
Some would have you believe that exchanging a quick hug or an air-kiss is an indication of caring about the other person, but in many cases it’s just a perfunctory gesture with little real meaning or emotions behind it. Many people are so
focused upon what they have to say, thinking it to be the most important thing going on at the time, that they miss more than half of the communications exchange that was happening – the non-verbal, body-language parts. Their “let me show you how smart I am” approach to conversations quickly turns off listeners who might have their own opinions on the topic but who need to be drawn out to express those opinions. The know-it-all will wander off wondering why their remarks didn’t resonate better with the silent partner in the conversation; never realizing that their delivery itself showed that they really didn’t care to hear the opinions of others.
So, what can you do to show that you care? Maybe you can begin by focusing not upon what your next statement will be, but what your next question should be. Show the other person that you were interested enough in what they had to say to want to delve into it further and by doing so that you want to understand them and their point of view better. If you can start your next remarks with Why or What or How; you stand a much better chance of both showing that you care and learning more about that person.
Another way to show that you care is by doing rather than just talking. Jump in and help them with something. Volunteer to take a part of the load that they are bearing or the task that they are performing. The old saw that “actions speak louder than words” is true and nothing shows more care than helping. Sometimes there’s nothing that you can do and the best way to show that you care is just to be empathetic and/or sympathetic. People whom you meet who are grieving a loss need that sort of support and care from you.
Sometimes the best way to show that you care is to help the other person find their way back to whatever Faith they have. Many events can take a person to the edge of the abyss and obscure the path back from the edge in darkness. There is no stronger light that can be used to cut through that darkness than Faith. If through your caring touch and conversation you can help them rekindle that light of their faith, you will be helping them on the journey back from the darkness of the depression that has led them to the edge. Show them that you care and remind them that God cares and help them see that nothing is impossible with His help. Perhaps you have a personal experience that you can share with them to help reinforce that message. Show that you care by sharing it with them. I think that you will find that you are as touched and reinforced by that sharing as they are and both of you will be the better for it.
So, what can you do today to show people that you care? Is there someone who has been trying to tell you something; but, you were too busy showing them how smart you are? Are their people talking at you whom you are not really hearing? Take some time to listen. Take some time to ask questions. Take some time to get to really know those people and share their points of view. It will be time well spent. Let someone know that you care today.