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?
You make an interesting point. The art of listening is almost non-existent these days.
I am nowhere near perfect, but I am trying to be better, especially with family. I think it is important to give your family undivided attention. It is clearly not possible all the time, but I think if we are conscious about it, it is doable, more often than not.
What do you think?
I believe art of listening is over stressed, art of better conversations should be encouraged more.
I too feel both are connected…otherwise you would lost interest if the other one is not talking healthy!
Exactly Alok… it is too much stress just to be a good listener.. no?
A good conversation requires 2 active participants, else a monologue. I agree with you here.
And monologues look good when spoken on a stage with many people tuning in 😀
Hmmm, sounds valid and justified. Can’t agree more on certain points.
Glad you liked it 🙂
Oh man! The no. of times, ‘my looks’ has been cause of fallen friendships/relationships. I couldn’t agree more that, what we need is the art of better conversation and not better listening. True, no one likes a quick listener. Good listening skills does not only mean patiently having to hear ‘whatever’ the other person is saying before responding…
Exactly people feel dumping words is better than engaging in a meaningful dialogue..
I think most people know from my expressions whether I’m in agreement with them or not. I used to be a good listener, but perhaps I listened too well and became a ‘wailing wall’? Now, I too tune off some people. Whether that’s nice or not I don’t know, but it’s working for me. But yes, I see beyond words and many times I don’t like what I ‘see’.
I love good conversations, but they seem hard to find these days.
I don’t want to sound trite but I loved this post of yours – it made me think!
“Wailing wall” I like the term already 🙂 As long as it works Corinne, it is nice.
Here’s to dialogues… As a curious person… what would it be without listening… Nice post Richa:-)
Of course nothing…. but listening with some meaning is dialogue..
True, unless the conversation is meaningful it is difficult to listen:)
It sounds good.. it is obvious that if we are talking good then automatically it reflects something positive.
Thanks for such positive article.
And that good begets better conversations 🙂 Two way kinds 🙂
Thanks for posting such a positive blog post.. It is definitely going to change the minds of many..
I always believe that its both important to build conversations and also listen with patience. As one of your other posts mentions, ‘Think and then react’. It’s all interconnected. One can listen to his or her heart’s content. But it’s important to discuss and converse as well after listening.
Listing is a great and dynamic quality but seems two of them are having some realistic & meaningful conversation !! isn’t it?
But you really positive blogging.