It’s saturday and I’m reluctant getting off my bed. The accumulated stress has somehow tied me to my bed with cords of complacency. I just want to lie down, more sleep, or simply lie away the stress. In that state you just can’t but have a mind-wander(Just coined that word).
I’m pretty sure you can associate with times when you felt “I should have just kept my mouth shut”. Such moment is exactly what I’m thinking of now. How I wish I didn’t say what I said when I said it. A little listening would have made a world of difference. You see, in an effort to show how knowledgeable I am compared to my friend, I out-talked him even to the point of hurting him. But as time unfolded and revealed the hidden truth, he was damn right after all. Now I’m feeling all bad and desperately seeking ways to un-speak what I’ve spoken. I just knew too much to have listened to him.
I know this experience isn’t just peculiar to me. We are all guilty in one instance or the other.
Expressing yourself is very important. It gets your message, intentions and motives across to the other person. But allowing others to also express themselves is key to every meaningful relationship. It helps you understand the talker and his point. Yes, there is power in talking, but there is more exuded in ‘mere’ listening.
When you are not listening you are not learning. Effective listening takes effort and practice. It is both a science and an art. But I often discover that when emotional topics or issues are involved we tend to speak than listen. What is best in such situations is to empathize. Put yourself in their situations and follow their feelings. Understand the difference between what is said and what is meant and in doing so you will understand and appreciate the knowledge the speaker has because it has taken the focus off what you know and got to say.
Meanwhile, I think I need to go clean up especially my teeth. But before then, what makes a person worth listening to? We’ll talk about that later.