Friday, May 29, 2009

An Observation

Have you noticed that when you are talking about yourself or stuff that has happened to you, you get really into what you're saying- making sure you recall every last detail and get everything right, painting the perfect picture of your experience that you are so anxious to share with your friend. It's fun isn't it?
Then look at the opposite of this- the part when you have to listen to the other person. Your mind drifts and you stop making eye contact after the first few sentences. You barely listen to what the other person is saying as you think about something else cool to share or something that you really should be doing instead of sitting here talking...

Almost everyone does it!(Why do you think I have a blog?? I could rant on about myself all day!!) You lose interest when someone else is talking. And then when you are the one talking, the other person does the same thing. It's fun and easy to talk about ourselves- the hard part is listening.
I personally always have tried to intently listen when my friends are telling me something or need advice. I became aware of the above concept a few months ago, and since then I have tried to be an even better listener. If you tend to have ADD moments, try getting yourself involved with what the person is saying.
Some examples...
When I say I'm going to the lake this weekend with the Bowlings, people should know what I'm talking about because I bring them up a lot. If you still have no clue who they are... well it kind of illuminates your bad listening skills- unless of course you just started reading my blog- then I forgive you!
Also, when people are talking about their amazingly huge complex extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc..) I have an easy time following up on the people involved because I know how to listen (and I have a very, very good memory), so if the person brings up their friend in Nashville or their cousin or aunt or uncle, I remember and recognize who they are.

Something you can use to check yourself...
How many little random details (such as the name of your friend's cousin's friend's pet squirrel and such) can you remember about your past conversations?
If the answer is 'oh geez! I could go on and on about little Wilfred!' then great! You're on the right track.
But if your answer is 'huh? What kind of a name is Wilfred? My friend has a pet squirrel??'... then you might want to re-examine your listening skills...

Ask questions and maybe you'll actually remember what you were talking about a few hours later...

So be a great listener- it's a quality that is valued greatly now and later in life.

Ok... so I went on a bit of a rant... heheh sorry! Just wanted to give some random advice!!
It's fun and easy to talk about ourselves- the hard part is listening.

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