GROUP LEADER: LINDA BLAIKIE, L.C.S.W
Do Atheists Have the Reputation of ‘Not Listening?’
Does Our Intellectualism Get in the Way?
Of all the things Atheists have been blamed for in this society, “not listening” may sound like the most benign. But that complaint generally comes from people that Atheists could have the most positive effect on: those who are seeking an alternative to religion, those who are on the borderline, those who want clear cut answers to religion’s quandaries. And those are the very people who complain: Atheists do not listen to us!
“Too often, Atheists do not take seriously what religious people say,” says Linda Blaikie, L.C.S.W., therapist and group leader at NYC Atheists’ “Living With Atheism” support group. “We laugh at religious people. That is not kind or productive.”
Blaikie speculates that this is probably because Atheists are generally intellectual in outlook and tend to engage in debate rather than listening to the questions, qualms or confusions of the person to whom they are talking.
Atheists Quick to Quarrel
“Atheists go head to head rather than carefully listening and getting to the essence of what the other person is saying,” Blaikie notes, adding, “ and this, in many cases, extends to the private lives of these Atheists.”
So how do you listen constructively? It isn’t just being quiet, it appears. It’s paying close attention not only to the words the person is saying but to their body language, their emotions, figuring out what they really want to know, assessing what they are really saying. That takes wisdom, courage, patience and a depth of understanding and outreach based on your sensitivity to a fellow human being who may be in deep anguish but not able to tell you that because their pride is in the way.
What Are They Really Saying?
Come on Wednesday, October 9, and learn from a person whose very profession hinges on listening: A therapist. Who knows how to listen constructively better than a therapist? Come and learn how to deal with those in your life to whom you must listen.
WHAT: “THE ART AND IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING--
AND THE OBSTACLES THAT GET IN OUR WAY.”
An NYC Atheists’ support group discussion led by
therapist Linda Blaikie, L.C.S.W.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
WHERE: MOONSTRUCK DINER
449 Third Ave. (at 31st St.)
COST: Free to members of NYC Atheists Inc.
Participants are expected to purchase
food/drink to compensate Moonstruck.
New York City Atheists Inc. is a 501C not-for-profit association dedicated to the separation of church and state and to promoting the Atheist lifestyle and values.