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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Listen Up!

So I know someone who means well, but is completely oblivious to the needs of others in conversation. He doesn't listen to what the other person is saying and will interrupt them before they are done speaking. He only listens to half, if that, of what is said and responds to that. Most of the time, his response is completely off because he hasn't listened to the whole thought or idea. If others do get a chance to speak, he spends all the conversation time waiting for his turn to speak instead of listening.

What's worse is that he will absolutely monopolize a conversation. It's not even really a conversation. It's a monologue with others trying to get a word in edgewise until they realize it's futile so they stop listening and start making a list of stuff they need to do in their heads while nodding and pretending to look like they still care ten minutes into the monologue.

It's incredible to me how many people are unable to listen. They fall in various places of the "don't listen" spectrum, but nonetheless the end result is the same. Is it really so hard to just shut up and listen to someone else? Anyone else notice how wrapped up in ourselves most of us are? We all do it and I'm no exception, but I do make an effort to listen to others and let them tell me whatever they want to tell me. Something I've learned from this is that everyone wants to feel heard, appreciated, and like they matter. Simply listening, really listening, is one way you can give all those things to someone. You never know the difference you might make for someone with the simple act of listening.

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