Listen carefully

Ever feel lonely on your relationships? Unheard in discussions? Loneliness could be determined by how we do not, or perform, listen. And this can influence both the mental and physical wellbeing of people — and communities.

For insight on the topic of solitude as it pertains to listening, I flipped into the knowledge of three Toronto-based hearing pros: Tenniel Rock, a medical researcher, psychotherapist, and public speaker specializing in holistic counselling for shameful, racialized, queer, and trans people and couples; Dr. Diana Brecher, clinical psychologist and Scholar-in-Residence for Positive Behavior at Ryerson University; and Heidi Bornstein, yoga and meditation instructor, along with co-founder of Mindfulness Every day.

Loneliness and disconnection

Tenniel Rock clarifies that “loneliness is a profound sense of detachment and disconnection and has to do with the understanding of one’s lifestyle and relationships

Compared to truth.”

And Heidi Bornstein affirms that “loneliness is the feeling of being interconnection.”

Aloneness or solitude?

Loneliness isn’t the same as being lonely. Actually, feeling has to do with being on the own. “It is not exactly the same as privacy,” says Bornstein. “We can encounter isolation even when we are surrounded by a lot of men and women.”

Loneliness is angst or the distress that originates when we believe something is missing within our relationships, especially when put against the sorts of relationships we would like to possess. Loneliness lies within those that we want and this discrepancy — involving the connections we have.

Loneliness is a feeling, whereas solitude is all about a lack of community or support. Put isolation is experienced but isolation takes place when the connections of one are a few to none.

The strain of isolation

“The sad, cut-off feelings of isolation can deliver a nervous system in fight-or-flight manner,” says Bornstein, “and restrict the feel-good hormone dopamine, generated when physically near another.”

Rock adds that “spiked stress hormones may result in greater susceptibility to chronic diseases like diabetes, together with difficulty focusing, understanding, and remembering, and of course depression, stress, and anxiety.”

Loneliness and love

“Yearning for relationship arising from prolonged isolation,” clarifies Brecher,”may result in feelings of despair, in turn resulting in poor decisions in partners and relationships ”

Loneliness in communities

Most of us want close addition and relationships to live and flourish. Loneliness impairs closeness and contentedness leading to consequently and detachment more isolation. For communities, even higher levels of suicide, family breakdown, and dependence could be associated with long-term loneliness.”

Addition and intimacy in communities allow spaces where groups and people can grow, learn, create, and develop.

“Many people have countless ‘relations’ online to individuals we do not actually understand and could not rely in a crisis.

Listening and loneliness

“In the heart of the majority of feelings of solitude is a feeling of jealousy, showing in ideas like ‘nobody cares about me’ or ‘nobody knows me’

“When we know how to obey our own demands, and to all those of our nearest and dearest, we are better equipped to deal with the core ideas that accompany isolation.”

Learning How to hear ourselves

“Because loneliness can exacerbate adverse self-talk and self-deprecating narratives, it is important to see isolation as a psychological messenger,” Rock points out.

“During mindfulness, through training, we can start to realize how isolation acts as a filter which only frees our isolation,” says Brecher.

Loneliness and un wellness

Studies show that loneliness worsens quality of life and life expectancy, and influences sleep, blood pressure, and psychological wellness.

Learning How to listen to other people

Do we listen to ways that produce connectedness and loneliness? Brecher indicates we listen much more and with our ears with our hearts, bringing and taking what is stated at face value.

Meditation and Pairing

We ruminate over the fueling disconnection After we’re alone, based on Bornstein. Mindfulness helps us handle isolation by showing the ways that we connected, irrespective of ideas or conditions.

Creative connections

Brecher clarifies that “if we participate in acts that are creative, we frequently enter a state of circulation which contributes to extreme concentration on and relation to the action, calming loneliness.”

Attentive, appreciative listening

Presentness, comprehension, and concentrate bonding on authentic listening deepen interconnection, and belonging –genuine compassion and closeness develops. To listen is to be accessible to exactly what another person is when drawn out to our own commentary, saying, permitting what they state are the anchor for our attentiveness.

Listening to “we”

Bornstein reminds us that “there’s a basic ‘we’–we aren’t alone, we discuss in humanity, all of us experience feelings of loneliness, and consciousness can deepen our interconnectedness.”

Heidi Bornstein provides some suggestions for listening that is mindful exactly what to do, and also some customs derail careful listening.


  1. Set an intention to listen mindfully.
  2. Listen to understand rather than to respond.
  3. Notice the person’s body language and tone as well as words.
  4. Allow the person to complete what they’re expressing.
  5. Practise not interrupting, finishing sentences, judging what’s said, or relating stories back to yourself.
  6. Recognize when your attention wanders and gently return focus back to what’s being said.
  7. Ask if they’re finished before asking questions or offering comments.
  8. Ask for permission before giving advice.
  9. Give the gift of your presence and focused attention.
  10. Just listen—often it’s enough.


  1. Compare—it can make it hard to hear because the listener is too busy measuring themselves against the speaker.
  2. Mind-read—it may turn the listener’s focus on assumptions.
  3. Rehearse how to reply—it can distract by shifting focus from what’s being shared.
  4. Filter— it may allow for only partial listening.
  5. Judge—it may lead to hastily writing someone off.
  6. Dream—it can suggest a lack of commitment to the conversation or relationship.
  7. Identify self-referentially—it may flip the focus from the speaker to the listener.
  8. Spar—quick rebuttals and strong stands can foster hostility.
  9. Advise—it prioritizes problem-solving over listening.
  10. Derail—it occurs through quick subject changes.
  11. Placate—it’s inauthentic people-pleasing, not deep listening.