Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Listening with Kellyn Legath

March 07, 2024 MaryAnn Walker, Kellyn Legath Episode 87
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Listening with Kellyn Legath
Show Notes Transcript

What helps you to feel heard?  What causes you to feel unheard?  And how can you deepen your level of listening to deepen your relationships? 

This is exactly what I'm talking about with my friend and fellow coach, Kelly Legath. Find her on instagram @daydreamercoaching or at www.daydreamercoaching.com

Want to connect with MaryAnn?  Click here to connect on social media: https://linktr.ee/maryannwalker.life

Click here to apply to work with her: https://maryannwalker.life/contact-me

MaryAnn:

Well, hello and welcome back. So today I have Kellan Leggett on the show again. Welcome back,

Kellyn:

Kellan. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here and just to have another conversation with you. It's going to be

MaryAnn:

amazing. Yeah. I'm excited too. Yeah. Kellen's been on the show before and we actually went to life coach school together and have been friends ever since. And so, yeah, she's just really fun to talk with. She and I talk all the time. And when I tell you here on the show that I also have coaches and need coaching and also need to have somebody to reflect back to me, my brain, Kellen is one of those people that I turned to. I just really love and appreciate her. And ironically, today we're going to be talking about listening and like, what is that like to be listened to, to be heard? And how can we be better listeners? And I thought it was super funny that when I got on to record with Kellen. I couldn't hear her. I couldn't hear her at all. And she logged off and logged back in and I was like, I don't know, I guess you've got problems. And then it turns out I was the one with the problem. So I had to fiddle with my settings and then I could hear her. But I thought how funny and what a great metaphor. What a great metaphor for this conversation to be like, Oh yeah, sometimes the problem is on

Kellyn:

your end. Very on theme from start to finish. We're already on theme. I love it.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. So we're just going to kind of explore some ideas about the importance of listening. And so, yeah, so first of all, just. Why do you think, Kellen, that listening is so important?

Kellyn:

Um, you know, it's so funny. I think with our training, right, in coach training, we're really taught how to hold space. And I think, you know, when I think back, I think that is probably one of the most important aspects that we learned in coaching, to be able to sit and hold space and really hear somebody. And not have your own thoughts muddy the airways between you. I just think it's so important and it's connection, right? Like being a really good listener. It enhances this connection between two people that I just think it's why it's such an important skill to learn and to develop.

MaryAnn:

Yeah, I love that. And you use the term holding space. So there might be some people on here that don't know what that means to hold space. So can you give us some examples of what that means and what that can look

Kellyn:

like? Yeah, I'm I'll be anxious to hear what you how you think about it. You know, when I think about holding space, I think about and and I'm sure we'll talk so much more about this, but like really being present. In the moment, and allowing the other person to just show up as they are, all their thoughts, all their feelings, and be there to be the holder of all those things, right, not trying to change them, not trying to make it go away, it's a really, I think it's a really beautiful, like, witnessing of somebody's experience, um, you know, and then we come in and guide them, but, but I think that first part of, you know, Being there and being there with them, allowing them to express that's, that's to me, holding spaces. I

MaryAnn:

love that. Yeah. I like how you talked about presence. Cause as I think about holding space, I think it's being present with you. But it's trying to meet the other person where they are at. I think it's so easy when we're listening to somebody, we're thinking about what we want to say, and we're thinking about our experience that's similar, but very different from their experience. And it's like, Oh, well, let me tell you about the time when something happened to me and we just jump in. And that's not actually honoring the other person's experience. Right.

Kellyn:

And I think we try to be so helpful in that way, right, to kind of take away any pain that they're feeling like, Oh, I went through that too. Or, yeah, this thing happened to me once and you'll get over it. You know, it's like, is that really helpful in the moment? Sometimes it is. I think there's a time and place for that. But when you're in the space of just allowing the person to show up as they are, it's very different. Right.

MaryAnn:

I like it. Yeah. Okay. So first I want to talk about, and maybe see if you want to share a time when you didn't feel hurt. Now, this is outside of just now when I totally gaslit you into saying that you were the problem that I couldn't hear you. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Okay. Cause I'm certain you did not feel heard in that moment, five

Kellyn:

minutes ago, five minutes ago.

MaryAnn:

Can you share a time when you maybe you didn't feel heard and what that looked like?

Kellyn:

Yeah. I, you know. I thinking about this, I think it's such an interesting question, right? Because it to me, where my brain goes is think about how we communicate today. We're like DM people and texting and I'm a big voice memo sender. Um, And even FaceTime, I think when we, when we talk about listening, there's the cognitive, emotional, behavioral parts to it, and I think with technology, we sort of lose right off the bat, like, one of those parts, right? Like, when I'm sharing something to a friend, for instance, um, let me think of an example. I, I just shared with a friend recently that I was feeling lonely. And feeling like, as, as it relates to being in partnership, right, and I shared that with her in a voice memo and I, I kind of had a moment of feeling like, oh, I'm not, I'm not being heard in this moment, and I'm like, well, of course she can't see how I'm expressing it, how I'm showing up, if my shoulders are down or if I'm, if I'm crying or like all the other things that are really important in really being a good active listener, like those aren't present. Right. So, I think for me in that experience, I. I had a note in my mind to be like, Oh, this is something I want to talk about this person, but I want to talk about it when we're together, you know, this is sort of like a table conversation where I'm like, Hey, I'm gonna let you know this is going on. But being one on one together will be such a different experience and enhance the conversation in such a different way. Right? Um, When I really think about being unheard, to me, my brain goes to like a corporate setting, corporate environment, um, you know, before becoming a life coach, I was working and I kind of always felt like, oh, I had all these ideas, but there was something happening where I wasn't being heard, or maybe like, wasn't being Taken seriously, or kind of like, oh yeah, maybe that's a good idea, and I think there's so many parts to it, right? It was the way I was showing up in this kind of, you know, as a highly sensitive person, and someone that's anxious, like, I was showing up in this way where I was like, oh, maybe we could do this thing, you know, where I'm like, talking louder, and Not really coming at it and being like, I have a really great idea. What if we did this? Right? So part of it is like how I was showing up. And then the other part of it was like, who's on the receiving end? whether it's a boss or coworkers or manager, whatever, how they're receiving it. And are they hearing me and You know, how do we move forward from

MaryAnn:

there? And that is so interesting, right? Cause oftentimes when we talk about listening, we talk about how we're received by other people, but I love that you said that it was about how you were showing up. Like if you're showing up more timid, like, well, I don't know, I maybe have an idea and you're more soft spoken. Then someone who's louder and more confident than they might get more table space. And it doesn't mean that they weren't hearing you. It just might mean maybe you were a little softer. Someone was a little louder. It doesn't mean that what you had to say wasn't valuable. So that's really interesting to think about, um, yeah, how we choose to show up and are we acknowledging what our need is in that moment? Are we actually asserting self is kind of an interesting thing to think about when we reflect on those times when we didn't feel heard.

Kellyn:

Oh, my gosh. Yeah. And I think in that moment, I would have never attributed it to how I was showing up, right? I was just like, you know, and I think that breeds resentment, right? Like, you don't hear me or, or another co worker will come in and say the same thing in a different way. And you're like, I joked about that, like insert eye roller, you know, or whatever. And it just creates this like tension and animosity and, and all these things. But like exactly what you said, being able to look at it from a different lens and being like, how was I showing up in that moment? Yeah, they didn't hear. I was like saying things under my breath and kind of whispering and, you know, wasn't feeling confident within myself. So that's a big part of it.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. Yeah. It is interesting. I think on how we showed up and think on how they're showing up. Cause I know there's been times when I didn't feel heard where, you know, one thing that kept showing up in my life, like through my teen years and also into adulthood is just so everybody knows, I know how to start a car. Okay. Like I know how to start a car. I would go out and I would go to start the car to leave for school and it wouldn't start for whatever reason, but like, I don't understand, like, why isn't the car starting? And of course I'd go inside and I tell my dad, Hey, the car's not working. And he'd come out and it would start right up. And I was like, I'm just not feeling heard or seen or understood. And of course the same thing happened now that I'm an adult, you know, my husband, who's a total car guy. And I'm like, look, like I know how to start a car. I don't know why it didn't start in that moment. And so it's interesting to me like, okay, so just because my experience is different from somebody else's experience that left me feeling unheard. You know, it's, it's kind of interesting to acknowledge like we each have our own experiences, but essentially that's what it boils down to is my experience with starting the car was different from their experience. And maybe me just giving it that little spark is what was needed in order for it to start up for them. But it's interesting how easy it can be to dismiss someone simply because we've had a different experience.

Kellyn:

Oh my gosh. This is so valuable for people to hear that, that ownership and that awareness of like, we're both in the same place, we're in the same place at exactly the same time or maybe five minutes later or ten minutes earlier, whatever it is, but our experiences and how we're viewing the experience is so different. Yeah. And I think for me, understanding that concept changed the way I show up in the world. Right. I think it allowed me to be like, Oh my gosh, someone else might be seeing this in a totally different way, you know, kind of paying attention to the stories that we're telling. Right. And I think a lot of times we assume, Oh, well, we're all, we're all trying to start the car. Yeah. So that means we're all having the same experience when that is just not true.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. Well, and even just reminding ourselves, Oh, we are all trying to start the car, but it is a different experience, but it can help to lend that compassion towards self and others. Cause I remember at the time feeling so angry and so frustrated, because their experience was different than mine, but now I can see that, okay, nope, it's fine. I can remind myself. I know how to start a car and it's funny even just noticing that that's what I felt the need to say before telling that story as you guys I know how to start a car. It shows me that I'm still kind of working through that but okay yeah isn't that interesting that I still feel that need to be like, I know how to start a car it's like all you do is turn the key. I've done it hundreds of times before. Yeah, so

Kellyn:

interesting. But that's the magic, right? The magic is in the noticing. Yeah. That isn't just skill to cultivate. I think we can't, underestimate how really powerful that is. Just noticing.

MaryAnn:

Mhm. Yes. I would love to hear about what helps you to feel heard. You already kind of mentioned that sometimes it's harder to feel heard when it's only the one sense, you know, just the auditory and they don't have the visual cues. And so you like to meet in person. What other things help you to feel heard?

Kellyn:

I think I'll give an example. I have a friend, I grew up on in Pennsylvania and I'm in Los Angeles. Now I have a friend, I grew up with her. We have been friends for over 20 years and we had such a dynamic shift in our relationship. When we started saying to each other, this is what I need right now. I need you to hear me. I just need advice. I just need to vent, like whatever it is. And. That experience, it has changed my relationship with this person and probably all of my relationships because I do this now with other people, I'll call someone and then be disappointed when they're not meeting me where I am, right? And I'm like, they're not listening to me, I'm not being heard, right? So again, it's having that awareness of okay, all of this is going on with me, I'm overwhelmed, I had a crappy day, whatever it is. And picking up the phone and saying to the other person before we even, start. Hey, do you mind if I vent? Are you open? Are you, do you have the space to just, listen? Yeah. I think that, first of all, that communication has helped me feel heard, right? Yeah, that is a, that's a huge thing. and then again, I think it's that, presence. It's the, compassionate presence and way somebody is interacting with you, right? Like, have you ever had a conversation with somebody where you're talking about something, whether it's important or not? I even think it is more, sometimes can be more triggering when it's not important, when you're like in the middle of telling a story and suddenly they're like, Doing these behavioral things that can tell you that they're not. listening, right? They'll like pick up their phone and then they'll be like, wait, what did you just say? And it's like, what? You're not listening to me.

MaryAnn:

Yeah.

Kellyn:

So I think, that presence is something for me that I put so much value. On and it always makes me feel hurt.

MaryAnn:

I love that because it also is just being proactive about getting those needs met. It's, it feels so different if you're in conversation with somebody and you're like, well, that's not what I need. That's not what I need. That's not what I need. Versus just saying, Hey, this is what I need right now. Can you do this for me? It just feels so different and it helps to make it a win win situation, right?

Kellyn:

It's so much more empowering to be in that space, right? To not expect people to show up how you need them to. And also it's, it's about expression. And I think I was joking with someone at work the other day. We always say words are so hard, you know, and they are. Communications really hard that's why it's a skill. That's why people hire coaches and therapists because it's a hard skill to cultivate, but when you do, and you feel like you're able to express that, it just changes your life, really, I think it does.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And around that expression, I'd recently shared a reel on Instagram that was talking about the eight minute friends and how really we only need eight minutes of dedicated space in order to really feel heard and received. And so now they've got this code where it's like, Hey, do you have eight minutes? And that means that they just need to verbally process for eight minutes while the other one listens. And I think sometimes it gets in our way where we think, well, I don't know what to say, or I don't have the time and I don't know how to show up. But really, when you think about it, eight minutes could be life changing for a friend. And it just be able to proactively state that need of, Hey, do you have eight minutes? It lets the friend know, Hey, this is how I need you to show up for me. And this is what I'm needing right now. And can be a really beautiful thing for the relationship.

Kellyn:

Oh my gosh, I love that. It's such a cue, right? Like you're cuing them up for success. Like you said, it's kind of, it's a win win for both parties, and it, sort of allows them to be like, oh, this is the eight minute thing. They need me, you know, in this capacity. I love that. I, with the friend I was mentioning, We used to do this, we kind of moved away from it, but we used to send each other the headphone emoji, or the earphones, or the microphone, to be like, hey, I just need you to listen, or hey, can we have a conversation about this? I love that. I see the emoji come through and I'm like, give it to me, I'm just a listener here, you know what I mean? And, and it's, Has nurtured the relationship so much. Yeah.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. And it's interesting. Cause I remember when we were going to the life coach school, one of the things that our instructor told us was they've done studies where if somebody even just talks to a lamppost for 10 minutes on their way home from work, then how much that can actually help them. And I think we do feel a lot of pressure about, well, but listening means I have to fix it. But I think it's exactly what you said. Just sending them the ears or sending them the headphones emoji. It's like, I just need to be heard. I just need a witness for just eight minutes or however long it is and how that can create so much inner peace for the one who is sharing.

Kellyn:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. And I'm sure what you just mentioned, I'm sure we will, we'll dive into more, but so many people, especially if you're a people pleaser or codependent, right. Not tuned into your emotions. You automatically, you're like, I want to take this away. I want to take this person's pain away and then that blurs the lines of, I think, being a good listener and being able to hear someone, right? Because you're already on to the next step. You're already ahead of where the person is. Oh,

MaryAnn:

I totally agree. Yep. I've recognized for myself that what I need to feel heard is for the other person to ask Maybe two or three follow up questions, because I recognize when I share and then they immediately tell me like my solution or they immediately tell me their experience, I feel very dismissed. And so there's been some relationships where I've had to say, okay, I have some things to share. I'm going to say some things. And then when I stop, it's because I want you to ask me a follow up question. It's not because

Kellyn:

I want you to interject with your experience. Oh my gosh, so true. And, the concepts that you're expressing are really simple, right? Like eight minutes. when we think about that, it's like, oh my gosh, it's a wrinkle in time. Yeah. And also reflecting back. I mean even in relationships, I think, if we talk about dating, which I'm sure we could have a whole different podcast on, but in dating, I can't tell you how many times I've been on a date or have heard friends go on a date where they're like, he didn't ask me any questions, that's not a great environment to feel heard or feel connection, right? So it's, it's that interaction with someone, the kind of, uh, ping ponging it back and forth,

MaryAnn:

right? Yeah. Well, and in the, using the dating analogy there, like if you are not asking any questions of your date, are you really on a date with them? Or are you just on a date with your projection of them? Cause you can't even possibly know who they are if you aren't asking questions.

Kellyn:

Yeah, yeah, which is such an important thing for people to hear on either side, right? How am I approaching this situation? How am I showing up in the situation? Am I showing up really curious about them? Or am I just wanting them to like me? Right? Yeah. Or am I like, I wonder what's This person's about how can I hear this person better? Well, how can I listen to what they're telling me about who they are and and their experiences and that, I think, especially as again, somebody that's I've been anxiously attached for so long. I have such an anxious attachment style to, to show up in that way. It's like, oh, it kind of melts so much pressure right out of the gate. Right. Like I can show up so differently because I have no idea what this person is going to say or the space that I need to hold for them. And it allows you to absorb, absorb another person. Yeah. So

MaryAnn:

important. Yeah. So now that we know how important it is to listen, how do you know who you can turn to when you need a listening ear? How do you choose those people?

Kellyn:

You know, I think for me, the biggest thing is not relying just on one person. I think assigning all of your, Weight to one person is really tough, with everything that everybody has going on in their personal lives and their own lives. And, you know, there are people obviously to hire, coaches specifically, like if you continue to hit the same problem again and again, there are people that get paid to do this exact thing, right? Coaches, therapists, whatever. You know, I, I really think it varies from day to day and I, in my life, started to look at things holistically, right? I tend to think about friendships when I think about listening, because my friends are the, the people that I go to when I'm having a good day, when I'm having a bad day and sort of everything in between or, hey, I thought of this concept, what do you think about this? You know, they're, they're sounding boards for everything. So, I look at everything holistically in the way that I'm like, Okay, this might be my go to person, the one person that I usually go to for listening. But she just communicated to me that she's really overwhelmed at work, and she's fighting with her boyfriend, or has an issue with her apartment, like whatever it is, and I'm like, Okay, is this person at capacity? Are they gonna be able to hear me? Sounds like based on what they're telling me it might not be the best time, right? So I allow myself to kind of take inventory of where my friends are at and again in communication say hey Like, you know, you can ask it's it's not about just like assuming what's going on with them I think it's important to ask but yeah, I just think it's it's looking at okay let me check in with that person where they're at in their life and and In this moment, can they be a good listener to me? You know, because we also know, misery loves company, right? So we can also find, we can also find the people that are like, great, you're in the mud, I'm gonna join in the mud with you. And then it's like, then listening just becomes It's pity party and, you know, just negativity and that's so, sometimes we need that, right? Like sometimes I'm like, I have a, I'm going to pity myself, you know, or I'm having a time. Can I just complain and say that I hate everything? Right? There's a time for that. But I think if you really want to be heard and really want someone to, to listen to you, it's really about, Taking inventory with yourself and the other person.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. And I think that requires a lot of emotional maturity, right? Cause you really have to think through, okay, what is it that I need from the other person? And then assessing, okay, so who can help to fill that need? Cause I know I also take different subjects to different people, right? So if I have a parenting issue, I might go to one friend. If I have like a relationship issue, I'll go to somebody else. If it's a work issue, I'll go to somebody else. And so I kind of piece out, okay, so who can help me with this thing so I can, get the most bang for my buck, but I also like what you said about essentially figuring out the time and the place and the person, like, how can I maximize those things where I do definitely want to talk with that person about this, but I can see it's not the right time. And that's again, where the emotional intelligence comes in where it's like, Hey, how can I self regulate? Okay. Until we can get to that point, because sometimes we don't feel heard by the other person when it really is just a timing issue, right? When it's like, you aren't listening to me and they're like, I'm not ready.

Kellyn:

Oh my gosh. Yeah, totally. That's, that's so important. And, and I think something you said just triggered my mind that Being comfortable it's it's especially in the beginning if you are a people pleaser or anxious or whatever It's it's really really important to find those people that are your safe space. And then, you know over time you'll grow and then can like expand your reach a bit, but I think if you know, someone has a big personality and they're super opinionated and you're feeling vulnerable and need a listening ear and you say, you know, I really, I'm, I'm having a hard time. Can you listen? And then they're going to listen and say, okay, I know you said you just wanted to listen, but you know, you have to, there's some discernment around like who you're going to, like, exactly what you said, checking in, what state am I in, and is this the right person to kind of hold this for me, yeah.

MaryAnn:

And I appreciate that because there are some friends where, you know, you're going to get the empathetic gear and it's going to be okay. And those other friends that maybe kind of steamroll the conversation, sometimes they're the ones that really helped to get me moving where it's like, when I am ready for solutions, then I can go to them. But if I need to feel heard first, I'm not going to be able to receive and then neither one of us are going to feel heard, right. Cause I'm going to be sharing and they're going to be throwing solutions at me before I feel heard. And then I'm going to essentially be telling them, I cannot receive what you were saying, because I'm not feeling received. It's just like we're hitting a wall and there's no communication happening there. So knowing, okay, where can I feel heard? Where can I process my things? Cause I know for me, I am a big time verbal processor. So sometimes I'll even just voice memo myself so that I can hear myself. I can validate myself. I can coach myself and then, you know, turn on my coach voice and reply. But it's like, Hey, what do I really need right now? And how can I best fulfill that need?

Kellyn:

Yeah. I love that you said it's a, it's a matter of emotional intelligence. It really is. Right. I can't say enough about how, having a commit. I meant to growing your emotional intelligence is just one of the most worthy time worthy expense worthy things you can do as far as self development goes Having the emotional capacity like that is just invaluable

MaryAnn:

Well, and it helps you to be more articulate when you actually express your needs, right? Like for example, I know there are some people that I communicate with via text Where I know i'm gonna probably only get a heart react It's what I have to say. And sometimes that heart react is perfect. Sometimes I just tell myself, I feel so heard and understood. And this was the perfect response that there's just no words, just a heart react. And other times it'll be the exact same circumstances, but I'm thinking seriously, you have nothing to say about it. And so it's interesting too to notice how wherever you're at emotionally really impacts how you receive the very same response. It's just really interesting to just notice.

Kellyn:

Oh my gosh. A hundred percent. And, and I do feel, I really kind of live by the idea that everything that happens in your life is happening for you, right? So that conversation with the person that is going to push you forward, maybe it'll. Make you scrunchy in the moment and feel annoyed and then it'll click 24 hours later or 48 hours later and you'll have this realization of like, oh, yeah, you know, sometimes in that moment. We don't want to hear it. But then, time goes by and you're like, okay, yeah, that pushed me forward. Um, and it's really important.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. I like that. And I want to kind of link that to something you said earlier about how there are also paid professionals. If you can't find the listeners in your immediate circle and recognizing like, okay, so there may be some benefit. To visiting a coach or a therapist that doesn't have that shared history that you've had with that girlfriend since high school, maybe it's okay to meet with somebody else that's going to lend an outside perspective and it can be worth the investment. cause sometimes we just cling that, no, I want that. Person to show up in this very specific way, but they have no idea. We just have that manual in our head that no, this is how they're supposed to show up for me. But opening yourself up to the idea of there's more than one person to talk to. If I can't find somebody to talk to in my circle, I can find someone who can help me to feel and to process this and do it even better than, you know, girlfriend from 20 years ago or whatever.

Kellyn:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think. Oh man, I could talk about this forever. I feel like people need to understand, that when you go to somebody, they're responding to you based on their own experience. So to tie it back with like, we're having our own experience, you know, if we want to talk about friendship and, and how people respond, even. family members, they're responding from their experience. And a lot of times people are responding based on how it will affect them, right? Yes. It's like, so when you, when you enlist in a coach, you're getting total neutrality, right? a good coach anyway, will totally stand in, non judgment, and accept you for where you are and not be like, well, I remember that thing happened when we were in third grade. And, you know, like they're able to kind of clear out all the drama from it and just allow you to, again, show up where you are and, with no added emotion to it. And I think that's a huge part of it. Um, also in the life coach school. So for people that don't know. We are able to kind of continue our education, I would say, in how we can listen and watch in on live coaching sessions. And, and one thing that hit me a few months ago was there were three people that joined a live coaching call, and each one of them Broke down emotionally like they all they each started crying after speaking for maybe like two three minutes You know, it wasn't even anything that the coach had really like triggered or brought on It was they all had very different topics to like vastly different Things in their lives, but it's just struck me how much we hold in Right? Yeah. And how much we kind of carry around with us and we're like, Oh, we're okay, you know, and we're doing fine. And we live in this fast paced society where we just keep trucking and we just keep moving forward. But when you find a listener, a listening ear, and you can just like take the backpack off of the emotional weight that you're carrying. It just opens you up in such a different way. And if you were I don't want to say it's the wrong person. I don't think there is really a wrong person necessarily. But if you go to a person that's going to add more stress or more discomfort, that's just going to be more added weight. And to just be able to, again, take the backpack off, take the weight off with somebody who's like totally neutral and can just hold that space for you is so important.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. And I think that that's been one of the biggest gifts for me from my training is learning how to ask questions because you kind of have to let go of ego. You have to let go of ego and assuming that a equals B, right? So even little things like, okay, well, what does that mean for you? When, um, when you get a heart reaction, what does it mean for you? I'm not going to just assume, cause it could go in so many different directions, but really getting curious about, okay, what does it mean for you? And then really that can give so much more self awareness around. Okay. So then that is just a thought. And what do I want to choose to believe? I mean, that's really, honestly, the launching point for so much personal growth is just not assuming that you know what it means. And not coming at somebody with, well, why do you think it means that no, it obviously means this instead, but letting go of that ego and just being genuinely curious about what does that mean for you? Oh

Kellyn:

my gosh. Yeah. I love that. And, and ego, it rears its ugly head, right? It comes in for all of us. I mean, it's, it's just totally present in so many moments. So I love that you've brought that into this conversation. I think that's such an important aspect to understand.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. And I guess that that's a good segue to my next question. Besides ego, what things can get in the way of true active listening?

Kellyn:

Ooh. Um, I think there's a few things. The first thing and a very obvious thing is distractions, right? Distractions in our day to day life. whether it's kids or multitasking or work or, again, I'll bring it back to that present moment awareness is. Such a key aspect in being a good listener, I think that multitasking myth that we were all kind of sold I don't know when that happened, but it's just not impactful, right? Mm hmm And it's so easy to get distracted I'm guilty of this myself I'll be on the phone with someone and I'll put it on speaker and then I'm like scrolling on my phone and I'm looking at Instagram and I'm like as soon as I do that, I'm just taken out of the moment completely In how I'm responding and how somebody else is responding. So I would say distractions. That's one.

MaryAnn:

This is one of those things to really think on because we notice it so much in other people when they aren't listening, but to really slow it down and identify, okay, what things make it so that I don't feel heard. And then identifying, okay, well, am I doing those things too? So I love your comments on distraction. I also think, going along with the ego thing that the brain wanting to be right more than it wants to be happy. So they're saying something and then we start to get defensive because, but you need to hear my point of view because my point of view is right. And I found this quote by Byron Katie that I just love. But she said, defense is the first act of war. I thought that was just so powerful that if you were allowing that defensiveness, as soon as you recognize that you're getting defensive in conversation, you're no longer listening. You've turned off your ears and it's now a battle. It's a war.

Kellyn:

Oh, so good. So I love Byron Katie. And so you're exactly right. It's the turnoff switch, right? It's the turnoff switch for, for non listening. Perfect segue into, my second thing on the list for what gets in the way of listening is emotions. Yeah. Sadness, anger, I would say overwhelm is a big thing that gets in our way. And sometimes I think these emotions come from a really loving place, like, to bring it back to dating, if a friend tells me about her experience, and then I hear how the person acted on the date, I'm like, angry right away because I want to protect this person and I want to Make sure they're okay and I'm like no he can't do that to you or you know Mama bear comes out or big sister comes out really quickly and it's you know As much as that's coming from a loving place that again, it removes me from being a true active listener and To understand so what did you think when he made that comment or when he left in the way that he did like what came up for you because to, to kind of share my perspective on it is to make an assumption about how the other person was feeling in that moment.

MaryAnn:

Right, right, I think you're spot on that when we have those big emotions. Sometimes it does come from that good place of empathy and other times it's essentially that we're making it about us, right? We're making it about our own personal triggers around if somebody talked to me that way or that one time so and so did such and such, you just reminded me of it. It can be really interesting to see. What emotions come up and where they take you in your head.

Kellyn:

Oh, yeah. And you keep setting me up for, my list, which is so beautiful. I love that this is happening, but judgment, if there's judgment in the moment, we have this like pre-judgment of like, oh, I know what this is gonna be. She had another date that someone didn't do the right thing. Or, oh, I know what this is gonna be, my mom is gonna complain about this or that. And we're already creating story in our heads and it's such a human thing to do, right? Like the brain. It is 10 steps ahead so much of the time, constantly wavering between, things that have happened in the past and things that have happened in the future, and it's just such a human thing, but you kind of need to, lasso that in, right? Yeah. I'm just going to be present. I'm just going to be present. I'm going to show up. Because as soon as you're thinking about, oh, this already happened a million times, or you're thinking of future, you're totally out of the moment. And, and I think that is the valve that you're turning off to be a really good listener.

MaryAnn:

Yeah, I like that. And I want to tie that together with the eight minutes of listening where you might know exactly where the story is going. Maybe you have heard it a million times, but to still make a point to listen from that place of love and curiosity for eight minutes before interjecting. Essentially making it about you. Like I remember having a conversation once with somebody where I was sharing something deeply personal and they instantly said, Oh, that same thing happened to me. And then we started talking about their experience and the more they talked, the more I thought they really don't understand my experience. And they truly thought that they were empathizing, but they weren't, they were derailing. Big difference. Yeah. So just refraining from judgment and keep listening and keep reminding your brain when it wants to say, Oh, I know where this is going, that you have no clue. You cannot possibly know where this is going next. You can have some good ideas, but you don't actually know what's coming up next.

Kellyn:

Even that concept is so important, right? Because most people think, but I do know. Like that would be the rebuttal, right? But I do know, and to wind yourself back down and to be like, well, can you be curious in this moment? Can you allow yourself to just, maybe it'll be different, you know, even that kind of shift, sometimes we are just so, stuck on what we know and what we don't know and, to be mendable, to be able to kind of stretch a little bit and, and show up in a different way is so important.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. So I want to dive into that a little bit deeper and talk about what emotions. Do not serve you in conversation and what emotions do serve you when you are trying to actively listen. So we've talked about a few emotions that are not serving us like self righteousness or defensiveness. What other emotions don't serve in conversation?

Kellyn:

I really do think that the ones I mentioned like anger and, and sadness for the other person, I think a lot of people will tune in automatically and say, Oh, I'm being compassionate. And I think compassion, I would say if, if I want to jump ahead, like compassion is an important quality of being a good listener, right? But I think sometimes when we're inflicting our own anger onto other people, it just, it adds to the pot and then it starts to boil over. Another emotion that I think really gets in the way of being a good listener is overwhelm. When you're overwhelmed, at least for me, my overwhelmed brain is just running running running running thinking I have to do this thinking I have to do that. Okay, what happens next? You know, It's certainly not a good Emotion to bring to the table when you're trying to be present, right? It's, it's almost the opposite.

MaryAnn:

Which goes back to the importance of timing, right? And recognizing, okay, maybe now it's not a good time. Maybe we need to put a pin in this and revisit it. And it's interesting, even as you were talking about, the anger and different big emotions that come in, how my brain wants to fill in the story. Uh, you know, I remember one time when I was sharing a disappointment with a friend, I was like, yeah, I was really hoping to see this person and they weren't able to make it. And then she came back with anger. And I thought, well, that's interesting. Cause I wasn't mad that they didn't come. I was disappointed, but when we allow those huge emotions, and like you said, we think we're being empathetic and understanding, but to check in with self and be like, Hey, just because I would be mad, maybe they're not mad. Maybe they're sad. Maybe they're disappointed, but you have to come at it through that lens of curiosity rather than, the hurt or the anger or the defensiveness in order to actually meet them. Where they're at and now I'm getting ahead of myself, but let's jump right into what emotions do serve you when you are trying to be an active listener?

Kellyn:

I'm going to be cheesy for a minute and just say it's like the three C's there's three C's, curiosity, calmness, and compassion. Being curious and not just saying that you're curious, but truly embodying a curious mindset, a deep curiosity. It changed my entire life. It changed how I show up in friendship and within my relationships, right? Mm-Hmm. because again, I think it goes back to being curious of. I don't have all the answers. I don't know somebody's experience, but I'm curious what their experience is and what they're going through in a way that allows me to say, Oh, I'm, I'm really seeing this person and I'm really hearing this person, and because I'm listening, I'm listening with my full attention and my full mind in a place that's open. I think that's, that's what it is about curiosity. It keeps you so open, and allows you to kind of sit back and witness in a way that, something like judgment just doesn't. Right. And then calmness. I think being around somebody that is, being a good listener is to be calm and I'm not talking like Zen Buddhist calm, you know, it's just a, a slowing down. Right. So you can be in the moment and, really reflect and you're not feeling rushed, right? Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you're like, Oh, I can tell they have to leave soon. So you're talking really fast and then you're missing certain elements and you're leaving stuff out and the stuff you're leaving out is probably really important, right? So have the space, to talk to someone in a calm manner, someone that's not going to be reactive. It's so important. I think.

MaryAnn:

I love that. I love the three C's curiosity, calm, and compassion. Yeah. I had some other descriptors, but I think that they all fit under that umbrella. You know, I had curiosity, love, compassion, understanding, empathy, and hope, but I think, you know what? They all really fall into that. The curiosity, the calm and compassion. I love it. And honestly, I had so many more questions to ask you and I realized we were taking up So much time. This has been so much fun. So instead of asking you more questions, I'll just ask you, what are your main takeaways that you would like for the listeners to really just take to heart?

Kellyn:

You know, the biggest thing I think is really looking at things holistically. I can't say that enough, how important it is to kind of take inventory of what's happening around you, both within yourself and outside of you. It's never just one thing. There's never just one piece. It's a puzzle, right? So, collecting certain things. And, the other thing is just taking ownership, taking ownership of how you're showing up, how you're communicating, how you're expressing your own needs, and are in touch with your emotions that is play such a big role, and I think. It, it empowers you to really get into the driver's seat of your life. And not be in resentment or disappointment because I think when you're not, that's what comes of these conversations, right? Where you feel like you're not being heard or listened to and, it's a skill. That's the other thing. This is a skill, right? The learned skill. This is a lot of information, a lot of valuable information, but Committing to yourself and saying, Hey, I want to learn this. I want to be better. That's a whole nother, you know, ball game.

MaryAnn:

I love that. I love that so much. And I had two things that I was going to share, but now I want to share three things because what you said resonated with me as well. So my main takeaways are the three Cs, the curiosity, common compassion. And then I also really want to take to heart the time, the place, and the person. And really being more intentional about that, about creating space, not only for other people, but as we're seeking someone to listen, taking all of those things into account, and then really learning to first and foremost, learn how to listen to yourself. I think that that is a huge thing when it comes to learning how to self regulate and deepening your own emotional awareness and your emotional intelligence. And even if you're just able to get to a point where you can listen to yourself enough that you can self regulate. Until you can find the person, the right person in the right place at the right time, it can just help to be that bridge by just really, truly listening to self, be it sending yourself voice memos or journaling or whatever it is. So I loved all those. That

Kellyn:

was so good. It's so important. I like that you broke it down into time, place, and person. that is so so important and to check in with yourself. I love it. That was that was an amazing takeaway Oh, I hope listeners really heard what you just said and if you didn't Hit the back button, because that was so valuable. Well,

MaryAnn:

thank you. And thank you so much for being here. So will you tell everybody where they can find you if they'd like to connect with you?

Kellyn:

Yes. you can connect with me on Instagram at Daydreamer Coaching or on daydreamer coaching.com. And I have one-on-one programs and working on a group coaching program. So I would love to connect anybody that wants to work on the things that we've talked about or, you know, just, I work with a ton of people that. That feels stuck in their life and are overwhelmed by life. So I would love to connect with you. And I'm so thankful to you for opening this conversation. This is so much fun. Every time we chat, we are always going over time because there's so much to say. It's true. So this is so fabulous. And thank you for having this

MaryAnn:

platform. Oh, well, thank you so much for coming on. And yeah, as Kellan said, like if you need help and support in any of these things, if this brought up some stuff for you and you would like somebody to work with you, that has been trained in how to hold space and can help you to identify what your needs are so that you can better feel heard and understood, then come and work with us. I'll put both of our contact information in the show notes. So yeah, here's to listening this week. It's going to be great.

Kellyn:

I love it.

MaryAnn:

Yeah. We'll have a great week, everybody. See you next time.