People want only a few things in their life: to be heard and hopefully understood. To feel that their life mattered, that there is value to their having existed. I was reminded of this several days ago. I was talking with a friend and wasn’t really listening as closely as I should have been. Instead of it being a friendly conversation with a little back and forward, it all of a sudden turned into a contest to see who could take control of the conversation. We both tried to talk a little louder. Then a little faster. Then a little more forcefully. Each change just made it worse, and only escalated the problem. Then I remembered to stop and listen. As I took more time to hear what he was saying and how the problem he was having made him feel, the anxiety started to drain from the conversation. We both started to think about what was being said instead of having to control the conversation. Once this happened we were able to quickly move into a discussion of how to solve the issue, a resolution was found, problem solved. After our conversation I remembered an old saying “You have 2 ears and one mouth. Use them proportionally.”