I’m really grateful to have people in my life that I can talk to when I’m having a hard time. But sometimes I find it difficult to talk to the people that know me best. Their love for me and desire to help me means that they give advice, and share their thoughts and opinions, even when they haven’t been asked for them. Often I can end a conversation feeling like I’ve talked a lot, but I haven’t been heard. I haven’t been listened to.
In our everyday conversations, we can have a tendency to concentrate on thinking about what we are going to say next or simply waiting to talk without engaging with what has previously been said. Additionally, if we are not mindful, we can enter into a conversation ready to provide advice or solutions without asking if that is what our conversation partner wants. When we intentionally give space for the other person to speak and encourage them to give further details as they feel comfortable, by asking open questions, we can build connection, strengthen bonds and deepen our relationships. Allowing space in conversation and asking open questions are some of the skills that are the foundations of Active Listening.
Active Listening requires us to pay close attention to the speaker so that we can absorb, comprehend and reflect what they are saying. When we focus on doing these things we demonstrate empathy, compassion, understanding and respect.
Pineapple Support knows that there are people working within the adult industry that feel isolated and lonely, even though they may have lots of friends or industry connections. Many adult industry workers lack spaces where they can talk freely whilst knowing that they are not going to be judged, and that is why Pineapple Support set up a volunteer-led, 24/7 listening service using the online emotional support platform, 7 Cups of Team. All the volunteers are members of the public and adult industry professionals who are trained in Active Listening especially to help our community.
Through the Pineapple Support 24/7 listening service, anyone who is working in the online adult industry, that wants to talk about whatever is on their mind, can reach out to a trained, compassionate listener. It’s completely anonymous, and there’s no judgement and no problem solving. Just a space to help you clear your head.
Equally, anyone can become a Pineapple Support listener. There’s a short, online training programme which you can work through at your own pace. Once you have successfully completed the course, you can start volunteering straight away. The platform works with any web browser or you can download the app and provide support direct from your mobile phone.
Pineapple Support is always looking to welcome new volunteer listeners. If you’d like to learn or develop Active Listening skills, this is great way to do it. We’re looking forward to you joining us.