Here is what I promise. I promise that I will listen when you talk. If I am writing, I will put my pen down; if I’m watching TV, I will turn it off; if I’m running from place to place, hurried and busy, I will stop mid-step. I will turn to you, look at you, and hear every word you say.
I won’t change the subject or connect what you’re saying to something that happened to me; I will be comfortable with your pauses and will not fill the in-between air with meaningless words of my own.
And when you’re finished telling your story, really and truly have gotten it all out, I’ll ask only one question, and I promise to mean it with all of my heart, “How can I help?”
And then I will listen again.