I met Eran and Paul trough a mutual friend, who thought I would be interested to check their work. Eran and Paul are wonderful young men here to change the world through changing people listening. Eran and Paul have shared with me very powerful techniques to understand how we really not listening….

Supportive Listening – Visiting Someone Else’s Life (By Eran Magen)
In a way, our lives are our homes. They are where we live. We usually spend our time in safe, familiar rooms: The living room, the dining room, the bedroom, or the study. Sometimes we visit other people’s houses. But most of us have rooms in our home that we are more… cautious about. Rooms we haven’t visited in quite some time, rooms which may have grown dusty cobwebs and deep shadows. Who knows what we’ll find there. We don’t like to go there alone.

But it’s hard to imagine inviting anyone along. It can be embarrassing. There’s a box in the basement that holds many of my childhood photos, including the ones of me naked in the bathtub. The attic has a journal in which I wrote all kinds of plans for world domination, and a closet that I cringe whenever I think of. And, honestly, it’s also embarrassing for me to have anyone see just how scared I am of going into those rooms. But those rooms hold some of the keys to who I am, to who I want to be. I want to go there, and I don’t. I sometimes open the door, and get a glimpse of what’s inside, but then I shudder and shut the door again. I dare not go on my own, and I dare not bring someone else with me. Other people may not be safe. Are You safe? Will You keep me company, without mocking me, and help me learn more about my house?

When somebody is sharing something with You, they are taking You along on an internal exploration – inviting You to see where they live. You are there to follow their lead and to offer your support. If they feel that they can trust You, they will sometimes ask You to accompany them to parts of their home that they are not used to visiting, or even scared of, parts that they wouldn’t share with most people. As they explore, they will want to know that You are there, with them – otherwise the experience becomes too frightening, too threatening. You can reassure them by letting them know that You are still at their side, that nothing You may encounter will scare You away. They will want to know that You do not think less of them because of what they share with You, and that You will not use what they show You against them. You can reassure them by validating and accepting everything that You are shown, without judging.

As they come to trust You, and your acceptance of them, they will also come to know their own house better, and become less weary of it. They will share more and more of it with You, and as You continue to accept what You are shown, they will come to own more and more of it, and feel increasingly comfortable in it.

Little by little, with your help, they will grow comfortable in their own home. Supportive Listening is a powerful technique that enables anyone to offer real support through conversation, without becoming exhausted or frustrated in the process. With your help, friends can gain clarity and focus, and come up with their own solutions to the issues they are facing.

To learn more about Supportive Listening and for information on workshops, visit http://www.supportivelistening.org/

About the author:
Eran Magen is currently completing his Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford University, where he also his M.A., and taught the peer counseling class. Eran finds his work on Supportive Listening tremendously meaningful and satisfying, as he trusts that it can literally change the way that we communicate with each other and with ourselves. Eran strongly believes that this approach will help transform human relationships into a source of security, comfort, and deep connection.