“Listen or Your Tongue Will Make you Deaf” – Old Native America Proverb
Listen, I have one really important question to ask you. When was the last time you really listened to someone talk.? I’m talking about giving them your undivided attention when you were not forced to.
I did not realize how important listening to someone was and how poor of a listener I was until I tried to have a chat with a friend of mine who makes it seem like his sole purpose in life is to speak. It seems as though words fly out of his mouth with out thought as if he had to spit them out before they drowned him into being the second most important person in the conversation.
Trying to have a conversation with someone who is only waiting for their turn to speak is infuriating. Trying to talk to someone who says, “Yes I know” when they have no idea what you were going to say is very frustrating. I’ve been dealing with this sort of thing with this particular friend since the nascent of our friendship.
I’m sure everyone of us has someone like this in their life and it just dawned on me that maybe his role in my life is to help me practice to be the best listener in the world. Maybe I should just use my time talking with him to perfect the craft of listening even if half of what comes out of his mouth is rubbish. When I thought back to my chats with him I realized that when I talked to him I myself did not listen. I was just waiting for him to spew some nonsense so I could quickly refute his claims but this turned into an endless cycle of squawking like two Sea Gulls arguing over a piece of bread. Worse when he did say something meaningful deep down inside I had this urge that made me not want to admit he was right and made it increasingly difficult for me to compliment him on anything. I realized how quickly I had adopted his ways and instead of me teaching him a lesson I was quickly becoming deaf do to my tongue. I reflected further and realized that this can quickly become a habit and poison other relationships.
“When you argue with a fool, on lookers have a hard time telling who the fool is.”
I now realize that I have to listen more and talk less. I believe if I do this I will become a much better listener all around. When you listen well it forces you to be interested in the person you are talking to. You learn more because you ask great questions, and in the end you learn how to take your ego, put it in your back pocket and sit on it. The art of listening must be cultivated and practiced. It is funny sometimes great lessons come out of frustrating and unexpected places. Always be open to the lesson and remember you can only help others as much as they want to help themselves. So use my experience to inspire you to listen more and talk less thanks for reading.