General Question

DancingMind's avatar

How much do you listen? feel heard?

Asked by DancingMind (5814 points ) June 15th, 2011

I’m mean both on and off Fluther.
I see : sometimes towards me, although that’s usually because I didn’t explain well : more often I’ll just be watching a dialogue, maybe a verging argument, and someone will come back triumphant at another with a point the other had already fully expressed. And the ‘already-been-there’ would be clear if the first had just been listening?
Then I wonder, how much we actually hear each other, or if we just go off in our bubbles of reality, bumping into but never merging with others… and then I start to wonder how much I’ve done that.
When I, I feel like I listen, or I feel like I try to listen. But when I see this phemonenon, I wonder how much I succeed…
So how much do you think you succeed, you hear? And/or how much do you feel heard?
Let’s merge our realities for a bit if we don’t already?

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21 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m not the greatest listener in the world sometimes but I make a real effort. I feel heard most of the time…really the only time I don’t feel heard is when people disregard the fact that I don’t identify as a woman and proceed to inform me what they think of my gender and what it should be according to their little perceptions of me…thanks, no thanks.

Coloma's avatar

I am always trying to be a conscious listener, but, I still fail enough of the time to keep reminding myself. It’s all in the catch and awareness.

On the other hand, I KNOW I am 100% ahead of the game with most people I interact with. lolol

I always try to be conscious and ASK, inquire, about things others tell me, but, rarely do I receivethe same in return.
Of course, I have a longstanding pattern of attracting highly narcissistic people.

I make do, axe the ones that are too blatent. haha

Bellatrix's avatar

I know my listening skills or should I say my ‘hearing’ skills could improve. I know I have a tendency to be thinking about my response rather than really hearing what the person is saying. I am aware of this tendency though so I do try to override it and especially in important situations. Like @coloma, I make a strong conscious effort to ask questions and when I am having an important conversation, to ask if my points are understood and more importantly to read back what I think the other person is saying to make sure I have understood them. I do this because I know my listening skills aren’t so great and I want to be sure I haven’t misinterpreted what they have said.

Am I heard? No. I think often I am not heard. I think the tendency I described above is a fairly standard thing and the people who manage to overcome this tendency stand out. We recognise them as great communicators.

I also think women tend to say too much and the message can get lost, people tune out. I know I do this. Look at some of my posts here!!! We need to follow the lead of good male communicators and get our point across as concisely as we can. Then perhaps more people will hear us.

Coloma's avatar

@Bellatrix

A friend of once took a group communication class, I laughed and said ” just more people to misunderstand you all at once!” haha

Bellatrix's avatar

lol@Coloma yes, undoubtedly true!

emeraldisles's avatar

I listen well to other people.The problem is sometimes I feel like I’m not even heard or that I’m being tuned out.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I listen too well. And I interpret things quite literally.

Doing so leads me to understand that:

* Most people speak for the sake of having something to say.

* People tend to speak casually, giving little regard toward the meaning of what they actually say.

* A lot of what’s being said is idle chit-chat, meaning nothing at all.

* Too many people enjoy complaining. If they didn’t complain they’d have nothing to talk about.

For these reasons, I prefer not to listen, and I seldom speak unless I really have something to say…and then I say whatever I have to say as precisely and as carefully as I can.

Which reminds me of a saying I ran across years ago which has served me well. It goes:

Prior to speaking, one must consider whether what is said meets the following qualifications:

Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?

If your speech doesn’t meet all three qualifications, it’s probably best to say nothing at all.

Coloma's avatar

@SABOTEUR

Well said, and true!

Although I think that conversing can have a purely fun element as well, playing off each other for the sake of humor and fun.

Another thing, IF we are also, only speaking of present moment events, in the now, no past, no future, no complaining, ONLY speaking of and IN the moment, well…nothing much to say beyond that.

I have played that ‘game; with friends…only speaking of the actual moment…

” What are you doing”

” Watering my flowers”

” Oh”

Silence. hahaha

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Coloma (smiling) It’s been said that speech is thrice removed from reality.

1. There’s “now”.
2. There’s my interpretation of “now”.
3. Then there’s my communication of my interpretation of “now”.

One can never speak of now, one can only experience now and speak of one’s interpretation.

What say you?

Symbeline's avatar

I’m a good listener, and I pay attention when someone tells me of their woes and pains. The problem is, I can’t really help anyone, so it probbaly feels to those people that I don’t care or haven’t heard a word. But then, I wouldn’t have people tell me their stuff if they thought that, maybe?

I feel heard, by the few who want to hear me.

For both of those questions, it’s all good.

Coloma's avatar

@SABOTEUR

I say you’re THE MAN! :-)

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Coloma Delusional…I thought as much.

Coloma's avatar

@SABOTEUR

Well..very few can follow this train of thought, so, you’re in the 5% :-)

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Coloma We’re in the same boat…which means I usually wind up relating to people on a casual basis (as you described as “the fun element”), ‘cause when I’m serious no one knows (or cares, really) what the hell I’m talking about.

Coloma's avatar

@SABOTEUR

Definition of loneliness:

” Lonely is when anyone will do for a bit of banter, “loneliness” when one is lacking anyone that can relate to them on a level that resonates with them!” ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve been practicing listening most of my life. It’s something that I don’t do all the time, though. I do it when I want to express my care for a person.

I have boundaries on my listening. If someone attacks me, I turn it off. Sometimes I will walk away, and sometimes I will return the attack. If someone wants to talk to me about things I really am not interested in, I often turn off my listening, even if it is a person I care a lot about. If I do not have time to listen, I will sometimes just walk away. Sometimes I’ll explain I don’t have time, and others, I’ll just walk.

I’m not a nice person unless I try to be one. When I try, I do well. When I don’t try, I often end up hurting people. So I guess this is not something that comes naturally to me.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Coloma That’s why I have you and my Fluther family.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@wundayatta You’re not alone. Headphones/earbuds work wonders for one’s disposition.

blueiiznh's avatar

I not only hear, but I listen. I read and I ask questions. If a person is taking the time to write or talk, I give them the attention and focus.
I have always been a caring attentive listener.
I can’t control the other side when I am talking so if they don’t, oh well.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Listening is the greatest gift you can give to another person. If they are talking, then they are talking from some sort of need. If you discover that they are saying things that you totally do not agree with, then simply tell them that you do not agree with what they are saying. If they get angry, then just walk away – but if they appear to be interested in why you do not agree with what they are saying, you might be able to explain your views & they might reconsider their opinion(s). It is almost always worth the effort.

MilkyWay's avatar

I don’t talk much to be honest, and when I do (unless I’m giving a speech) I don’t feel heard by the others around me. That’s not the case on Fluther. Over here I think people do care about my opinon and are genuinely interested in what I have to say.
As for listening, I am a very good, understanding and patient listener. I can listen to a person for hours on end without a problem.

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