Learning to listen

We listen on our own terms. We listen, not to understand or to hear, but to jump at the opportunity for us to speak again, whether that means agreeing to what’s being said, or by putting in our penny’s worth.

We take conversations the way we want them to go. It’s all about us. But perhaps we should be thinking about our connections and how when we superficially listen and we superficially connect. When we speak, there’s an element of us wanting to be heard, for others to crave and admire what we do, as much as we crave appreciation and admiration for ourselves.

There is part of us that wants to inspire. Perhaps we’ve struggled to get ourselves heard growing up. Perhaps no one listened, now we want others to listen, or expect others to listen to us; perhaps we’ve struggled with confidence issues and now with this new-found confidence, we want others to listen; perhaps it matters to us what other people think.

Perhaps we also want to be accepted, we want validation on our thoughts; perhaps we never had that as a child and we crave it now. There are many reasons why, but the biggest reason we need to listen, is that we can never be close without connecting on a soulful level.

Although listening is about letting someone else do the talking, we must work from a soulful level, because not to means we will not only fail to listen, but will fail to deeply connect or bring real purpose to our life or relationships.


28 Sep, 2017

4 thoughts on “Learning to listen

  1. Listening is something I’m already good at, seeing as I was forced to listen to my parents as a child and not in a good way.

    My mom was always whining about my dad and expecting me to comfort her while my Dad would complain about my mom and share things like why they couldn’t have sex the normal way!

    I’m sure this is one of so many reasons I’m great at it, but at the same time there’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to listen to people whine about their luxury problems as they call them in AA.

    Chances are that I would have made a great counselor due to my empathy, but it was more of the lack of sympathy that prevented me from doing so. I really think I have become so jaded by people throwing away the kind of lives that I would have loved to live that I just can’t connect with them on any deep level.

    What I have realized recently is that I so wish people would listen to me for a change, since I’m not an idiot and I do have a mind of my own. Nobody ever really listened to what I wanted as a kid, so eventually I just stopped talking and escaped into my own world.

    We grew up in an environment where it felt like you could stand in the middle of the room screaming at the top of your lungs and nobody would hear you. People like to mention the elephant in the living room, but we had the whole damn herd which my parents seemed oblivious to.

    If it hadn’t been for my older siblings taking care of us, we would have gone hungry or ended up being abducted, which almost happened many times. The only thing that saved me when I was alone, was the fact that I was an empath and knew what people wanted from me, which was usually pretty sick and twisted!

    The biggest problem that I have come across over the years is the people who expect you to listen to them but when you try to give advice, they do exactly what it is they want to do anyway. Someone came up with the term “askhole” which I think is very appropriate under the circumstances.

    I have one friend in particular who has been complaining about the same medical issue for years, but seems to absolutely refuse to listen to us or even his doctors on what to do. Seriously, what’s the point of asking people to listen when you’re not listening to any of the answers?

    My girlfriend and I are at our wit’s ends on what to do with him, since he expects that miracle cure, but it isn’t going to work when he refuses to do what needs to be done.

    I’m just so very tired of listening when people don’t want to hear what you have to say in reply, because it isn’t what they want to hear. Why should I keep helping someone who refuses to help themselves?

    1. You’re absolutely right Randy. You can only help those who choose to help themselves.

      At the end of the day Randy, you cannot be accused of at least not trying to listen or help. As you say you have got that down to a fine art because of the listening you had to do as a child.

      You must do what you feel you must and can do. Listen where you feel you need to and help where you feel you can. You don’t have the parent/child scenario thing to think about, so helping others is more on your terms now.

      But the art to helping is in the form of listening. We have to be good listener first. You have that.

  2. This is great and so so very true! In this society, there are SO many people that just don’t listen. They don’t want to hear it, and they don’t care.

    They want to be right, to have the last word, always. We all know a few of those people at least. Here in the U.S. (and I’m sure many countries around the world) we have a political battle going on. Freedom of speech left the building a long time ago.

    If we try and have an honest conversation about politics or really anything major going on and both parties disagree, then we are called every name under the sun, accused of being something we aren’t; even when our character and words do not show these accusations.

    It’s so sad and very depressing. I’ve wondered the past year, what in the hell happened to the country I grew up in? Even public schools around the nation, kids are being taught in economics and history classes a curriculum that fits the teachers agenda. Not the truth, but the teachers agenda literally. It’s insane.

    As a result, I’m very involved in what my children are learning in their classes and taking a stand if anything like that happens. It did last year with my daughters history teacher; after finding out what she was being taught in her class, I was very angry and went to the teacher and Principle.

    I may be getting off topic here and I’m trying not to, but my point is intended that people just don’t listen anymore. When we try and have a conversation with anyone, it’s like they’re incapable of keeping an open mind, they dismiss it almost immediately.

    I’ve had the constant issue of that going on with my daughter’s therapists, that just don’t want to listen to what she or I have to say and automatically calls her issues as hormonal, when I know for a fact the issue lies much deeper.

    In addition to this, I have a dear friend, who I grew up with and her and I come from very different belief systems, but we will always love each other as sisters. Where most people would have an argument and never speak to the other person again, her and I have conversations always with open mindedness and understanding.

    Our main goal is to always understand where the other person is coming from and to learn from it. We still disagree with each other, that will never change; but I do understand where she is coming from and respect it with laughs and hugs following afterward.

    Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on earth had the relationship with one another? Sorry for the long storybook post. I didn’t mean to write for so long when I started. There was just a lot to say.

    1. No problem Bonnie. I’m glad you said it. It had to be said. And I agree. We have the same personal political battle in the UK, which you’re absolutely right is both depressing and can leave us with anxiety and fear.

      Politicians don’t listen to the people. They did, but now they seem to be on their personal crusade to either make their own mark, or out do other politicians.

      I think you’re right in how you approach your own personal space too. As a mother, we are totally aware of what our children deal with; we need professionals to listen to what we have to say and at least try to understand where we’re coming from and how we see things.

      I also think if we did more listening we would all be in much better personal spaces. Thank goodness for my Diary. It brings peace into my life, where I struggle to maintain it.

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