To understand, it is important to listen. To actively engage in your perceptive abilities. Not just hear, but be willing to accept the message.
The Sufi poet and mystic Rumi phrased it this way: “Let this window be your ear. I have lost consciousness many times with longing for your listening silence, and your life-quickening smile.”
Rumi here speaks to a lover, listing five things he must say. Of the five, only the first two really appear applicable, but that is one of the beauties of Rumi – deceptiveness that leads to truth.
If you only read the surface – and not fully accept the message – you miss out on the truth.
This is as important, or more so, when dealing with people as it is when reading poetic Sufism.