#2 Don’t judge: You can learn a lot with no judgment and open ears
At the start of quarantine, I made a new friend. My neighbour helped me from going stir crazy alone while going through a break-up. It started with borrowing a vacuum and ended with homemade burgers.
He inspired me. We read some of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran together, had deep conversations, cooked, laughed, and swapped books (all with distance, don’t worry!). It was like a breath of fresh air.
Just from the power of listening and learning to a stranger, you learn a lot about yourself. Here’s how to build new relationships by listening with love, based on this spontaneous blossoming of a friendship.
When we first met, I had just broken up with my boyfriend and popped by to say hi and borrow his vacuum. What was supposed to be a quick passing by turned into a three-hour conversation, book exchange, and another meeting in the diary.
I left with Awareness by Anthony de Mello and started it that night in bed. One of my favourite quotes was:
“Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired.” — Anthony de Mello
Refrain from thinking about your response
The next day we went out for a short walk and ice cream. We discussed the book, and I began to notice we disagreed on some things. Since breaking up with my boyfriend, I saw I hated evoking irrational responses. I stopped.
With this new stranger in my life, I refrained from thinking what I was going to say and instead, listened.
Listening to his opinion could shape mine, and if it didn’t, it’s polite, and that’s how you make friends. When we refrain from thinking about our response, we can fully draw all our attention to what the other person has to say — it is a healthy tip for holding a conversation and getting to know someone.
Listen with your full attention and go with it.
The next way to build new relationships by listening with love is:
“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The key to getting to know somebody new is not to judge. At times, it’s tough because we clash easier with people who don’t think the same as we do. However, it’s always best to not judge because the other person will then feel comfortable to be who they want to be. We are free.
I found this with my neighbour. He seemed confident in his growth, and I learnt he had gone through some self-discovery and acceptance in the past few years. He opened up to me when I listened and learned with love.
Allow your soul to open up to others.
This can only happen when we don’t judge and accept the other person for who they are in their entirety. How to build new relationships means looking, listening, and showing them you are there to care. When we remove expectations, we don’t judge.
Last, but not least:
Spark curiosity, care, and compassion
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Although my neighbour was a stranger, to begin with, I now feel we are good friends. In only a matter of a few days before moving out, we got to know each other well. How? We were honest and humble with each other — it was refreshing.
Number 1 rule: Stop being fake and start being yourself.
This way, you will spark curiosity, care and compassion between one another and find out what the other person has to say. We all have a voice; use it. If someone doesn’t like what you say, then maybe they aren’t accepting of you and might not be the best person to pursue a friendship with.
Be mindful and let love win when you build new relationships. Now is the time to listen and learn from people by cultivating kindness:
Open your heart and be more loving, mindful. Let’s heal aloneness by understanding! First, refrain from thinking about what you are going to say, then stop judging, and find curiosity, care and compassion lift you.
Thanks for reading and stay blessed. ❤ Buy my short self-help book on how to cope with changing times and check out my daily donation-based online yoga classes.