The Lost Art of Listening

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

In a world where people are constantly talking, how much of it do we actually hear?

For most people, our mornings are spent in taking verbal information by way of the morning news. When we head to grab a cup of coffee we are accompanied by teenaged murmurs talking a mile a minute... usually about the latest Instagram fad. To our left, we hear millennials discussing how "horrible" this "new generation" is and behind us, we hear our casual relationship gossip. Whether it be meaningless background chatter from strangers or our loved ones choosing to confide in us… the act of verbal communication is everywhere. But how well do we actually listen to those around us?

The short answer to that question is not very well at all. Unfortunately, people are so quick to respond but don't put forth that same effort when it comes to listening. From giving answers to questions that weren't even asked to inputting their opinions where it's not needed.. we simply cannot just LISTEN. I think many of us, myself included, could take more time to understand the Art of Listening fully. It's such a basic concept that many of us fail to comprehend and have no circumspection to fix.

Fortunately for us, merely listening to others can solve a lot of the problems we think we have… many of which we've practically created ourselves. Most of the miscommunication we experience is because we CHOSE not to listen. We've found ourselves in a situation where the other person openly communicated their frustrations, and instead of being compassionate, we picked which words we wanted to hear. We instinctively silence people around us instead of creating spaces for those to speak and reflect freely on their veracity. We shut out and invalidated the feelings of those who chose to confide in us.

Instead of being present and open in these moments, we let our egos do the talking when our hearts should've been listening.

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