Following on from our last post, we are breaking down the action plan from the Mental Health First Aid course and the next step is to listen non judgmentally.
In reality, it’s a lot harder than you think. Our brains are wired to make snap judgments about the people we meet within seconds of meeting them. For our own survival we need to rank the people we meet in terms of whether they’re a threat or someone we can benefit from. When we say listen non judgmentally, we mean having an awareness of our own snap judgement’s and learn how to suspend them so they don’t influence the way we treat people.
We can also listen non judgementally by using open body language, paraphrasing back to our friends and really listening to whats being said rather than listening to respond.
If we are to get someone to disclose deep feelings of emotional turbulence such as Depression and Anxiety, they need to feel relaxed and comfortable enough with us. If they feel we’re not interested or making judgements about the, the conversation will quickly end and they will not open up to us.