The Importance of Listening


Our lives consist of rush, rush, rush, hurry, hurry, hurry!  We have perfected the art of multitasking.  We are always doing too much in a very short amount of time.  Do we ever really enjoy the present moment?   Do we really remember and appreciate the things we accomplished today?   That being said, I have a question for you…..did you enjoy and really “taste” your breakfast this morning?  Ha….probably not.  You were probably eating on the go or inhaling it because you were rushed!  We all experience this type of “hurry up and get it done” life.   Have you ever considered how it affects others around you?

Lately, I’ve experienced many conversations with others during which their mind was elsewhere.  Probably thinking, “what should I make for dinner,”  “dam, I forgot to put the laundry into the dryer,” etc, etc.  One conversation in particular really stands out and got me thinking…..are people even listening?   This specific conversation went this way: the general hellos, how are you, hugs, then….. Friend: “Look how nice my coat looks, it goes with everything and is so warm.  You should get yourself one.”  Me: “Looks great.  I’m glad you love it.” (it was a gift from me to her)  Friend: “So what did you do today?”  Me: “I had a doctors appointment.”  Friend: “You really need to go buy yourself this coat.”   Then she proceeded to change the subject and talk about the weather.  No Joke!  This really took place.  Even tho my doctor’s appointment was a routine check up and nothing serious, but it could have been and this friend just sailed right over it.  Yep, this really hurt and shocked me a little.  A few days later, we discussed this, she apologized and gave me her approval to share this with you so others can learn from “her mistake.”

The art of listening is so important.  It makes people feel heard or ignored.  We often listen to respond instead of listening to understand!  If we really think about it, it’s not hard to just listen to what the person is saying, what they are feeling, what they are trying to convey thru words but also thru expression and feeling.  We can tell a lot and understand even more, if we just quiet our mouths, quiet our minds, open our ears, look them in the eyes and be present in the conversation.  Not anticipating what they are going to say and how we should respond.  Just listen to understand.  Think about how good that person will feel knowing you are fully engaged in this conversation, which may be very important to them at this time.  And I’m sure you would appreciate it if the person you are talking to does the same for you.

In this hurry up and get it done type of world, let’s not forget about how important each other is in our lives.  How important a simple conversation with a friend can make a difference.   Think about how your relationship with others will improve if you listen to understand instead of listening to respond.



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