I Hear You. But! Are You Listening?

It is hard for me to listen to inadequacy without correction. Often times, I am quick to interrupt someone I am conversing with as I have a thought that I need to relate before it disseminates or the other party is simply incorrect. This concludes in a rather rude manner, well because it is RUDE. Cutting off someone else’s point to make your own is an act if unkindness. Problem number one.

Thus, I demand people to listen to me (Problem number two) while the opposer only receives the act of me “hearing” what they are saying rather than me LISTENING to what they are attempting to convey. In my mind, when I do not agree with something or my perspective is different- my brain automatically puts that individual in the “hearing compartment” which in laments terms means it is going into one ear and out of the other (problem number 3). I compartmentalize A LOT.

Is it wrong to want someone to listen to my side of the story or my view points but completely dismiss theirs? Yes. It is proper to cut them off in mid-sentence when I have a fact that has been proven and they’re stating “alternative facts?” Very improper.

“If you want to be listened to, you have to put time in listening.” Marge Piercy

In all my years of being in school, and the communication tools that I have learned- I seldom use them. As a result, one can argue that although I know how to communicate, I do not communicate EFFECTIVELY.

For each relationship in my life, I have demonstrated a improper form of communication. As I am growing in my journey, and the more I am forced to communicate in a variety of ways with a number of people on different platforms- I am understanding that operative communication is NOT just verbal, it is also non-verbal, it is LISTENING.

Five Types of Listening

Pseudo Listening: Listening but not absorbing the information being told. This would be the proper way to disagree, but allow the recipient to feel they are being heard. It is most appropriate for me in some situations in my relationship with my spouse- it cuts the amount of arguments in half. This would be a very compromising act to my assertive personality. Many times, pride gets in the way and we (I) feel that everything has to be a rebuttal, even when the information being transmitted is not worth that of an argument.

Appreciative Listening: Listening to a message of enjoyment. Appreciative listening for me is music- music is universal. When my moments of anxiety get the best of me- listening to music that bring me joy calms me down. Listening to a message that lifts my spirits assist me in the way I react to others in the times where I am at my low-point. I am able to appreciate a good message and transition into a calmer state.

Empathetic Listening: Empathetic listening is seeing a situation through the eyes of another person and understanding their pain. This listening tactic is what I try to use daily as it is apart of my job. However, doing a job and knowing someone personally is different.

The difference in my lack of communication instead of listening empathetically is that I enforce the importance of making the receiver understand that what their going through can A) be apart of life, B) not be their fault or, C) maybe it is their fault and a solution should be rendered. My mind works in such a way that it could come off rather blunt. Shit! I have to really work on this portion of listening. When the best course of action sometimes is to say “I understand” and allow the receiver to vent, while I listen in a nonjudgemental manner.

Comprehensive Listening: Comprehensive listening is an interpretation of words and ideas. While this form of listening is suppose to build discriminative listening, this is also the type of listening that requires you to speak the same language as the person you are comprehensively listening to. Another form of listening that I can compartmentalize if I do not know what the hell you are talking about.

So, this my fellow readers, is the “p.s.” in my bio when I said, “I’m still learning my damn self.” As I grow in my journey, I am hoping that I can progress my listening skill set along the way. It is my hope that eventually I’ll listen to understand rather than listen to reply.


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