Listen to Listen, Not to Respond

hearing

As humans, it is natural for us to want to engage in conversation. It is not only essential to our interaction, but has become a desirable inclination.

While the prospect of conversation is overall well-intended, there is one problem: people don’t always listen to listen. They listen to respond.

This is equivalent to skimming through a book. You may pick up on keywords or phrases. You might even be able to describe the basic plot, but you won’t ever be able to expand upon the general information.

But what would happen if you tried to write an additional chapter?

You would be lost. You might be able to throw in a few relevant details, but the book would wind up choppy and uninteresting.

Similarly, if you treat people like skimming through a book, your conversation will be limited. The less you listen to a person, the less you are able to understand and contribute to the discussion.

Conversations can be thought-provoking and compelling, but a conversation can’t develop if you are constantly racing to write your own chapter.

Often, people pursue their end of the conversation because speaking out-loud helps them process their own thoughts. This is an excellent way to introspect and build upon one’s own cognition, but it is not more beneficial than listening.

Your mind is available to you at any time of the day. Being able to observe someone else’s thoughts is the more rare opportunity.

If you are thoroughly engaged in a discussion, then the ideas you add will furnish the dialogue, and the conversation will become much more enriching to both you and the person you are talking to.

The tendency for an individual to want to fast-forward to their part in a conversation is catalyzed by the individual’s own perceived boredom in what their companion is saying. While this boredom may be real, it is usually a result of the individual’s lack of effort to immerse themselves in what the other person is saying.

In other words, if you don’t try to listen, you are guaranteed to be bored, but if you take the time to listen rather than worrying about how you’re going to respond, you might actually find the conversation intriguing.

The simple act of engaging oneself can enhance the conversation. This is not only because you will be more involved, but because the other person will become aware of your interest and react positively.

When people feel as though they are being listened to, their mannerism changes. They become more zealous and thus their voice becomes lively and eccentric, further propelling your own enthusiasm.

One meaningful discussion leads to a sequence of subsequent conversations. By engaging yourself in someone else’s thoughts, you develop your relationship with that person and expand upon your own realm of knowledge.

It is not a crime to want to hear yourself talk every once in awhile, but writing your own book without a filter, or attempting to throw random ideas into some else’s, will be much less progressive than collaborating. You can throw in a chapter here and there, but first you should thoroughly read the story that comes before it.

Published on Friday, May 20, 2016

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