We listen to what we want to hear. If what we’re being told doesn’t concur with our own thoughts, beliefs or how we see our lives, we shut off.
We listen to reply, because it would be rude for us not to, but we don’t listen enough for us to think or understand. Instead, we work off our own understanding. If we’re struggling, or it’s something we want to hear, another person’s opinion is something we might use, but generally we may ignore what other people say and instead will form our own opinions.
As children, we have no option but to listen. Listening taught me how to do things differently and for myself. Reading between the lines on what was being said, taught me how to deal with issues in a way that allowed me to change and find different outcomes. I didn’t close my mind to what others said, I found a different way to think that worked better for me.
It also depends on personality. Some of us are automatically receptive to other people’s opinions and advice and some of us aren’t, but perhaps that depends on the approach of the person handing out the advice. If someone is dictatorial we listen less.
On the whole, life becomes easier when we listen, primarily because we’re opening our minds to new possibilities, which helps us with personal, emotional and spiritual growth.
We should want to listen attentively rather than skim people’s words, it shows we’re interested. It allows us to embrace new thoughts and ideas and helps us learn about change in the process.