Friday, April 26, 2013

Listening. We were taught this as children and how often we forget......

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The definition of Listen from

transitive verb
: to give ear to : hear
intransitive verb
: to pay attention to sound <listen to music>
: to hear something with thoughtful attention : give consideration <listen to a plea>
: to be alert to catch an expected sound <listen for his step>

I think people forget the true definition.  We are taught this in Nursery school, our parents tell us, friends, siblings, grandparents etc.  We all understand it intellectually, but how many remain to do this?  I ask myself everyday.  I know and I am sure many can attest that they feel like no one hears them at times.  I have come to the conclusion that the reason why people feel this way is because people have stopped listening. 
We live in a age where one can choose what and who they want to listen to.  Some of us know that we have to listen to our bosses, spouses, children, parents and other loved ones.  You can know you have to listen to these people, but how many of us do?  I have lost count of how many times I and others around me have been interrupted while they are speaking.  When did this become acceptable?  To me it's just blatantly rude and inconsiderate.  We have all done this, because it just seems like we are fighting to be heard.  Interjecting is one thing, not letting someone talk and talking at someone is another.  Technology has given each one who has access their own personal soapbox and as a result, people are forgetting to listen.   This causes problems in all relationships whether it be personal or professional.  
It's easy to listen to music, TV, the news, gossip, preachers in church etc.  How many of us absorb facts?  Why does all the BS get repeated, but knowledge does not?  There are some that share great ideals and knowledge, but most of us just spread gossip and pop culture.  Chatter is becoming idle.  Once upon a time, communication had a purpose, music and art had a message and people shared facts as well as ideas.  Now, don't get me wrong, a lot of people are still spreading knowledge and great ideas.  But there is too much dumbing down in this world because people are listening less and talking more. 
I try to make a conscious effort to listen more than I talk and I still get cut off and interrupted.  Talk about feeling invalidated and disrespected.  I am sure this happens to a lot of people.   When are people going to become more self-aware and stop doing this to one another?  We all want to be heard or listened to.  Why is what you have to say more important than what someone else is saying?  Communication involves talking as well as listening.  The old saying is true, we need to listen more than we talk.  No wonder motor mouths, know-it-alls and busy bodies can tick others off.  Just shut up and listen.  When you listen, you can learn and make sure you wait till someone finishes before asking a question or just wanting to hear yourself talk!  Silence is not weakness.    

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