Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Do You Listen Or Do You Hear?

Today, I saw a tweet on my twitter feed that I thought was very good.  It is about a subject that I think is at the heart of many of our problems in this world.  If you've read this blog for very long, you will have seen me discuss this topic. 

Yet, it seems like what I write barely moves the needle.  Maybe I expect to much with my words.

All too often we act as if we are listening to others, but are we truly doing this?  Do we actually listen like we think we do, or are we just going through the motions.  Do we listen or do we actually hear those around us?

If you're staring at your smart phone while someone is talking and nodding your head, you're probably just going through the motions and not truly listening.  If you're thinking about how you need to respond back to the person you are listening to, then you are truly not hearing.

If you think that everything they are saying is wrong or inaccurate or misguided, you may be listening, but you're not hearing them.  If you're calling them all kinds of nicknames and labels, then you're barely listening and definitely not hearing them.

If you're waiting to get off the phone as quickly as you can, you're not hearing them.  Sure, you may be listening to what they say, but your mind is elsewhere.  If you're thinking about a million things other than what they are saying, more than likely you're not hearing them.

So often we are busy in our own minds.  We're focused on the 50 million tasks that we think are extremely important to our day, crowding our mind out from truly being connected to the moment.  We are so focused on the latest political story or social media post and how we need to respond, but we've forced our minds to be too busy to comprehend what the mind body connection is.

There is so much noise in our day and if we don't stop and take a step back, we get wrapped up in it to the point where our minds are just too busy to hear other people.  When we get so wrapped up into all the things that we think we must do, we become too busy in our minds to hear others.

If you really take a hard look at yourself, what are you really saying to others.  Are your mind, body, and actions really saying that you are not only listening but hearing the other person?  Is that really true about your life and your presence in this world, both in person and online?

Or - are you so busy in your mind that your presence only takes up physical space, but you're absent in the mind body connection and so you're not there hearing other people?

Hearing others involves an active participation with not only some body behavior, but with your mind and your heart.  Hearing involves true listening where you fully engage and don't become distracted by things that really dish the person you are with at that moment.  Hearing involves being there in that moment with that person as if they are the only thing that is present.

Hearing means that you're listening with your heart and trying to understand.  You're trying to connect with them and show them the respect that they deserve.  Hearing means that you're functioning on a more conscious level, rather than just going through the motions.

Test this out today and see what you're doing.  Are you truly listening or not? 

Become present with your behavior, not just a puppet to it.

People need others to really listen to them.  Kids need adults to listen to them.  Be someone positive in the world by doing more than listening.  Be the one that hears others by staying consciously connected in your mind body.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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