Message from Mary Nordtvedt, RN, BSN
Faith Community Nurse


Mary Nordtvedt

From Your Faith Community Nurse ...Tips for Being a Caring, Compassionate, Listening Friend


 “You must understand this my beloved; everyone must be quick to listen and slow to speak.”  James 1:19


When a friend or colleague shares a story with you, do you find yourself already thinking what you are going to say rather than being present in the moment and really listening? It takes practice to become a good listener.


Barb Schwery, National Befriender Ministry Executive shares the ideas below that can be used as caring responses:

· Paraphrase what you heard. Say in your own words what you have heard; include thoughts and emotions that were expressed. Examples of words that describe emotions are shy, afraid, ashamed, nervous, surprised, sad, happy, proud, suspicious, irritated, overwhelmed, etc.

· Phrases one can use include: “Are you saying,” “sounds like,” “seems like,” “could you say more about that,” “Sounds like talking about that might be difficult.”

· Do not respond with a story about yourself or someone else that has had a similar experience.

· Focus on the person you are listening to. Allow there to be silence. The person that is sharing will then have time to thoughtfully share.


As Lent is time of reflection, may it also be a time for you to be a caring, compassionate listener.





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Last Published: March 26, 2019 4:31 PM
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