In my last article, we talked about the benefits of Active Listening, as well as the right attitude and conditions that make it possible. In this article, I will describe the Four Active Listening Skills that we need to practice to become better and more active listeners: Silence, Clarifying, Reflecting Feelings, and Caring Confrontation.

Silence

Most of us believe that no one needs practice on how to shut up – you just shut up. When I teach students this first active listening skill, I instruct them to pair up, then to look at each other without saying anything for an entire…


While living in Tokyo several years ago, I volunteered at a crisis hotline for the international community there. Through a rigorous training program run by professional mental health counselors, I learned during that time what I consider as the most useful skill I have ever acquired in my entire life: active listening.

Active listening is a mindful way of hearing out another person. It is an “attempt to demonstrate unconditional acceptance and unbiased reflection” (Weger et al., 2010). One of the main goals of active listening is to minimize the effect of our own biases and to practice mindful patience..”…


How this stereotype can hurt more than it can help

In January of this year, the Philippine rock music world was jarred by the suicide of a musician that he himself captured through his phone on Facebook Live.

At the wake of such tragedies, we are moved to reflect on difficult questions: What can we do aside from expressing our collective grief and sending messages of “Kumusta ka?” (How are you?) to our peers? How can we actively contribute to building communities where the tragic fate of artists is less likely to happen?

Knowledge plays an important role in answering…


“I’m in love with a girl.” I thought she was confessing to me.

There was Ric, a photographer who flirted with me at a party, all the while inserting stories about his wife. For an entire day, he took me to art galleries and vintage camera shops. He led me by my waist as we crossed the streets and described to me his closet-sized darkroom at home the way one would describe a cathedral. When evening struck, we went up a building that looked like an illuminated glass ship seemingly stuck in the middle of the city. We kept climbing until the floors were empty. …


Dating a man after a decade of dating women does not make me “unqueer”

Photo: Lionell Sanchez / EyeEm / Getty Images

I was in kindergarten when I met Leila, with her wild, curly brown hair and large, doll-like eyes. We each had our best friends, but we often hung out at the playground together. One day, she and I fought for reasons I don’t remember (why do kindergarten kids fight anyway?), and she offered me my favorite candy while saying sweetly, “Bati na tayo?” (Truce?). Even now, the surest way to get me to accept an apology is to offer me cheap sweets, say those words, and remind me of Leila’s eyes.

In sixth grade, I convinced a good friend of…

Sheena Jamora

Teacher and Counselor-in-Training writing about mental health, relationships, learning, and being queer. Based in Manila.

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