Letting Others Feel Heard


Have you ever been in a situation (or conversation) where you didn't feel heard? Or maybe you noticed that the person you were talking to didn't seem to feel heard?

This happened to me in front of a judge and I was almost held in contempt.

I was interpreting in court, and the judge didn't understand the process of court interpreting, and that it is required to have at least two interpreters in the room when a hard of hearing person is in court because it's so technical.

Well, this judge didn't understand and was insisting that one of us leave. And if we didn't, he was going to hold us in contempt of court.

Well, my interpreting team member wasn't very good at holding back, and got a little confrontational, which really upset the judge.

So I stepped in and very carefully (and respectfully) repeated back what the judge was saying to make sure he felt like he was being heard and to decompress the situation.

It worked.

None of us went to jail.

We both got to stay and all of us felt heard.

Think about a time when someone was resistant to you, but maybe it's because you weren't letting them know that you actually heard what they were saying.


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