There is much talk about the art of listening, staying silent, and truly hearing what others have to say. Thats good, and I believe in that completely, as in my blog; The Me Monster, but did you know there is also an art of not listening? Sounds like a no brainer to not listen, but honestly I believe it’s tougher for most people to do this than to actually listen.
Here is what I mean; You are at work and a co-worker comes to your desk and begins ranting about; the terrible boss, not enough hours, too much hours and on and on, all while you are in the middle of writing a report. People want to be liked, so they listen, after all, it’s good to be a listener. But what if this person or other co-workers do this continuously? Where do you draw the line? There must be boundaries in order for you to get work done, and really, do you want to hear a bunch of complaints?
This is one example of hundreds on when not to listen.
How about the know-it-all friend that every time you say something, he has to top what you’ve just said and then takes over the conversation? I actually heard this while at lunch with my Husband not long ago, it went something like this;
Listener (trying to be a talker) Did I tell you I got the new position at work?
Rambler: “Thats great, me too, in fact did you know I…blah blah blah and I blah blah blah?”
Listener: “uh huh”
Rambler: and my pay is now blah blah blah and they want to make me a blah blah blah”
Listener: uh huh…
and on and on it went for the whole time we ate lunch. I should have known it was time to walk away and it wasn’t even my conversation!
The art of not listening is so important because what we take in affects our emotions, our emotions affect our thoughts, which in turn affect our mind and body. Literally what we hear, affects our world and how we feel in it. Be cautious of who you hang around and what enters your subconscious.
Small Change #38 The Art of Not Listening
This week become aware of what people are saying to you, don’t just let random or negative babble enter your sphere. Speak up, say something like, “I’m uncomfortable talking about Sally when she isn’t here.” Politely let your co-worker know you are in the middle of a project and don’t have the time to talk. And, if you are around someone who is always right, always topping what you say, and talking over you, it may be time to re-examine that friendship.
Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness. ~Margaret Millar