It sounds obvious I know, but listening skills always start with listening. We know we should, but do we listen, I mean really listen?
I don’t think we do, primarily because we’re often preoccupied with our own thoughts and that stops us from listening to what other people have to say. Perhaps in a way it’s easier because we don’t have to communicate that way, or perhaps where we are in our lives makes us less inclined to want to hear about other people and their problems.
To listen, we must always pay attention and that’s not always easy. It’s far easier for someone else to pay attention and for us to talk, than it is for us to listen and someone else talk. We start off with good intentions but get distracted along the way.
Others may have no intention of listening because they’re simply not interested in what we have to say, or they’ve heard it all before. It may also depend on how others communicate with us. Some of us will use talking as a means of dictating what they want and that’s not what people generally want.
I have always tried to avoid those kind of conversations, because they only end up in arguments, no matter how the conversation starts. I’m also not sure we merely in a habit of really not caring about anyone but ourselves. In today’s society it seems we put ourselves first.