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For all humans there is a yearning for ‘witnessed significance’ which is satisfied when someone listens to us. This important product of listening has been highlighted by Fleischman who argues that we all have ‘the need to be seen, known, responded to, confirmed, appreciated, cared for, mirrored, recognised, identified’ (1989: 8). Thus, listening is widely understood as a way of communicating caring and of validation. One of Myers' research respondents confirms its centrality: ‘I feel good when I am being listened to because I know that person cares about me and what I'm saying’ (2000: 158). This is ...

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