When we were teenagers being angry was in vogue. Now that we have grown up, being a good listener is. Or so it seems to me.
I was neither angry then nor have I cultivated the art of good listening now. I would like to believe the two are interconnected. Otherwise… well then too no otherwise.
Point is I am not the one who raises her hand and says, boy that’s a great point. Neither am I the one who goes, “how dare you say this.” I am more the dismissive kind. The condescending look that invariably crosses my face when stupid, illogical senseless stuff is presented, is let me tell you now legendary.
My nods, shakes and face contortions have broken more friendships and relationships than all the words put together. Because if the universe is any correct in giving me signals then nobody and I repeat nobody likes a quick listener. They all thoroughly appreciate a good one. But speed is probably an attribute of speeding cars and not lengthy conversations.
Now for sometime though the idea that being a good listener is as boring as being unconventional is in todays world has found serious space with me and it has completely fallen off my mind’s grid.
And I have my points, my lord. I have them ready.
For starters, time is money. Umm… period. That’s it. No further points on this sir.
Don’t you feel like breaking away from being you?
You may be wondering amidst all these discussions about art of listening or not listening where does this question fit?
As a person I believe I value conversations a little too much.
They are not stray words that people emanate and I need to bounce them off. They are always ideas. Thoughts. Lives that get portrayed through words. I know when a friend who is usually known for his humour passes off a philosophy, he is in pain. I know when a person who is known for philosophy speaks something very illogical, he is in even greater pain. I know this. I know patterns.
I know people I know.
And so when conversations don’t add up. Or don’t mean anything, it irks me. It creates a cycle of frustration, negativity and a loss of faith in… conversations. So to isolate myself from all of this I decide to not listen.
To further add to this thought, besides knowing people, I also know myself. Through series of sleepless nights and thoughtful days I have started to understand myself better. I believe I am at my most vulnerable right now. And holding my sanctuaries on a shoestring.
Where a good conversation can assist me in this journey, a bad one can push me back by a few years. Yes. Years.
So this is my risk mitigation plan. I identify red herrings, I detect conversations I do not need and I switch off. In intent. In expression. In body language. In every possible way I can throw away that conversation from my head.
Coming back to where I began, you want me to be a good listener? Talk better.
Are you a good listener? Did you ward off a lot of points I said tonight? Did you feel something? Speak up, I promise this time I will listen 🙂
Chai and conversations, you ready?