This is not new advice; we all know that listening more and talking less is an excellent way to improve communication and relationships. But listening is hard.
When I was a kid, I remember listening to adult conversations and thinking, they talk too much. I was always a quiet kid, and as an adult, I believe I am more on the quiet side than the talking one. However, I still don’t listen enough, and I think I talk too much. As a kid, I didn’t particularly appreciate how adults wanted to talk to me instead of hearing what I had to say, and now I probably do the same to kids.
We all want to know that people listen to us, that we matter, which might be why most of us are always trying to say or do something to get noticed. No one wants to be invisible. Listening should give us the same reward, but it doesn’t.
In my experience, when I am listening to someone, I can only do it for some time before I feel the need to say something too. So interrupting people or saying something when there is nothing to say can cause conflict and the opposite feeling of what we want in the end; for someone to listen to us.
Social media is another medium where we now go and try for people to notice us. We feel good when strangers say something to us or when someone demonstrates that they see you by liking your tweet, Instagram post, etc. But even knowing all of that, I think we listen less and try to talk more.
You know the saying, “everyone has an opinion,” right? It’s true, and I think the need to have an opinion comes from the need to be part of the conversation, for people to listen to what we have to say. We want people to care about us and our opinion.
I am trying to listen more and talk less. It’s hard. Whenever I am in a conversation where I have an opinion, I want to interrupt and say something. But in more instances than not, sharing my opinion or interrupting someone else when they are talking produces a negative output. It’s not what I am looking for, so I need to change that.
What are your thoughts about this? I care about what you have to say about this, so speak up if you have an opinion. I am here to listen/read.
Also, happy birthday Mau. Love you.