Saving his life from this warm sausage tea?
Samaritans’ misheard lyrics quiz puts country’s listening skills to the test
If you think ‘Saving his life from this warm sausage tea’ is a line from Queen’s anthemic hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, are you really listening?
The charity is challenging the UK to up its game when it comes to its listening skills, with the help of a quiz to test your knowledge of song lyrics, or rather misheard song lyrics. And for people who hear Adele ‘chasing penguins’ rather than ‘chasing pavements’, or think Duffy is ‘begging you for birdseed’, help is at hand with a set of Listening Tips based on Samaritans’ 60 years of listening expertise.
Samaritans’ Head of Press & PR Lynsey Pollard said: “We’ve all been there in the shower or the car, with the radio on, belting out an X-Factor worthy performance of a favourite tune. But how many of us thought Hot Chocolate were singing, ‘I remove umbilicals’, instead of ‘I believe in miracles’? That’s embarrassing, but you can get over it. In this busy distracting, mobile phone crazy world, Samaritans wants to encourage people to listen to the really important things their friends, family and colleagues need to tell them, and to actually devote some time and attention to being better listeners. When people feel listened to, it can save a life."
Samaritans’ Listening Tips – or SHUSH! – are based on the skills of its workforce of more than 20,000 volunteers. The charity’s encouraging everyone to SHUSH! and listen - keep the Tips handy and put them to good use.
Samaritans Listening Tips or S-H-U-S-H!:
- Show you care: focus just on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone
- Have patience: it may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up
- Use open questions: ones that need more than a yes/no answer, & follow up e.g. ‘Tell me more’
- Say it back: to check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution
- Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence
Samaritans volunteer, Daniel Cheesman, says the tips work in all kinds of situations: “SHUSH! is Samaritans’ starting point for you to be a better listener. When I speak to people as a volunteer, I use these tips to create the necessary space for people to talk. As another benefit, my personal relationships have been transformed by my ability to be a better listener. You have to practise and you have to make them a habit but keep them handy and use them. I can guarantee you will learn new things about those around you. So try the quiz on our website, download the Listening Tips, and help us spread the word!”
Anyone can contact Samaritans from any phone, even if you have no credit, on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
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Notes to editors:
- Samaritans’ is launching its ‘Misheard Lyrics’ quiz to promote a month of activities called Talk To Us, to raise awareness of its emotional support services. Go to www.samaritans.org/quiz to try the Misheard Lyrics Quiz, download SHUSH! Samaritans’ Listening Tips, plus a wealth of information on how to be a good listener, as well as spotting the signs that someone may be struggling. You can also share the quiz and tips on social media, using the hashtag #MisheardLyrics or download the tips as wallpaper for your PC, mobile phone or tablet.
- Throughout July, Samaritans volunteers up and down the UK and Ireland, who are based in 200 different branches, will be out and about in the community and at festivals and events. Find out about #TalkToUs events in your area at www.samaritans.org, follow @samaritans on Twitter or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity.
- It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope. Your listening, your time or your donation could save a life. Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us
- Samaritans receives more than 5.7 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland. For more information please see samaritans.org