When Susie Albert Miller asked me to review her book Listen, Learn, Love: How to Dramatically Improve your Relationships in 30 Days or Less!, I must admit I was reluctant. Strike that: doubtful. My first thought was, “I just got divorced. Too late.”
But then, that very same thought flipped around. “I just got divorced. Great proof that I could stand to read something about relationships.” Plus, I went to Susie’s website and got a sneak peek at the beginning chapters.
“Okay, Susie, I’m in,” I messaged her.
My favorite image from the book is one of a couple giving Susie a small pair of child-sized, yellow rain boots with a note saying, “thanks for walking through the muck of life with us.” Ah, yes. I’m all about walking life with others and this book is all about the things Susie has learned as she has walked with others.
The title sounds simple.
But stop and think just about listen for a second and you’ll quickly realize it’s not nearly as simple as it sounds. I know I’m prone to interrupting, to “listening” long enough to form an opinion and hijack the conversation.
Here’s an excerpt from the chapter titled “Hearing without Listening”:
Is being right more important than this relationship? I encourage you to ask yourself this question often in the midst of a tense conversation or disagreement. Remembering this question reminds me the relationship is most important and helps me practice Listen, Learn, Love, especially when I don’t want to. It has kept me from making a difficult situation worse and reminded me to be willing to say I’m sorry. Knowing this truth and putting it into practice often seems like crossing the Grand Canyon. We falsely view being the first to apologize as a sign of weakness or as caving in. What if you reframed the choice to be the first to say I’m sorry as a sign of strength and humility? You willingly relinquish the demand to be right, communicating that this person and your relationship is more important. Can you imagine how your relationships would improve?
‘I’m sorry’ is not an admission of guilt. It is not declaring you purposely did or said something wrong or are taking responsibility for what you may be accused of doing. Sometimes it simply acknowledges their hurt and your sorrow for their struggle. It is giving them a place to share their feelings and your impact on them.” (pg. 66)
Listen, Learn, Love releases today! You can go to ListenLearnLovebook.com to pick up a copy and get over $250 in FREE Bonuses!