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How much of your day do you spend listening to other people? I don’t mean half-heartedly nodding along while you mentally multi-task. I mean actively being present with another human being. These opportunities for connection are becoming increasingly rare in our hyper-connected world where distractions abound.It’s difficult to stay focused long enough to listen to the people you love, let alone engage thoughtfully with someone you disagree with, whether that be your boss, a difficult colleague or someone whose political affiliations differ from yours.Yet we’re facing a loneliness epidemic spurred on by disconnection. Being heard, feeling seen and getting validation are not only crucial components of good communication, but they are also essential for mental health.

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