Will You Please Just Listen?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When I was younger, to be precise, during my pimple-prone teenage years, late teen and bordering early adulthood, I realized one thing that had most baffled and annoyed me for the longest time: Grown adults, of our parents age, more specifically, my parents, just did not have the ability to listen to their kids (me and my siblings) that well.

Observational study of people's interaction conducted at leisure on my own reveal that a lot of arguments among people could have been prevented in the first place if both parties (involved in the conversation) actually pause to indulge in active listening before muttering so-called smart stuff vocally that usually ends up annoying the other party to no end.

While being annoyed is understandable, extreme anger is another topic altogether, in which you can seek to control, by reading this insight-laden post that my dear friend Ryhen Satch had written on his blog, by clicking here.

I just wanted to blab for a bit about the much needed skills of active listening because from my own experience, the feeling like there's nobody who will just listen to you as you talk can be a pain that adds to the loneliness that is common among young people who are still developing their minds as they grow up.

No matter how old or young you are, you know that there's no replacement to bonds that are nurtured by mutual understanding and open communication, as well as respect for each other's freedom to just be. And listening is a big part of these temporary connections that we rely for a fulfilling stay on earth.

Just a night back, I was in the middle of a conversation with my mother about something so trivial as usual. We were talking about the online registration process for her business. Being quite a factual person, I had asked her if she knew the exact website address as I wanted to help her out with the procedure. While we talked, we often indulged in side conversation in between the main topics that we were talking about.

For instance, I'd be yakking about the weather, and because a cute guy just passed by, I would also be mentioning that, as a side topic. But on this night, the lines between our subjects of discussion got blurred and we almost killed each other in the car, via throaty screams or shouts that burned our useless ears. Because we were in the car, thank the flying spaghetti monster, that the road ahead was what our eyes were focused on, instead of each other's tired faces.

So I was exaggerating about the lethal side-effects of throaty shouts. As far as I was concerned, the only reply that was appropriate to my question was a yes or a no, but my dear mother was talking about how she was unsure if there'd be forms to fill up online, which was initially inspired by a question that I had asked her earlier about how she'd registered the business before things got high-tech and we could pinpoint our browser to specific Urls and feel majestic, but for some reason, her line of thought was still at that juncture and I was already moving on to a new question that her hearing was utterly deaf to.

So, there we were, a clucking chicken and a quacking duck. The error was, in my excitation to be helpful, I became an ass, and my mom was like a broken radio, playing the same fragmented sound clip that only got louder and cringe-worthier. Active listening was out of the car windows, by then.

Nobody could hear us, thank the gods of the insane, because we would make real good candidates for the loony's association.

And the strangest thing was I felt like I could relate to this kid minus the slap that he'd thrown at the mother while Dr Phil was hiding in the bin. Note that in this case, active listening also was the missing ingredient, unfortunately.

To wrap up this post, let me just share sharp thoughts of Keith Pearson on the subject of emotionally-intelligent listening skills.


Image Credit:
Yakovlev Alexander's Painting 'Just Listen.."

shanaz@RS | 3:20 AM | Labels:

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