Your work buddy is back from vacation and you are just amped. Your excited to see them and tell them about EVERYTHING that happened over the holidays and at work while they were on vacation. You eagerly rush to work, because you just have so much to talk about. You make it to work and boom, its pure excitement. You see them after so long and you start telling them about everything. You begin vividly explaining your holiday break and then transition to the past couple of days they missed at work while they were still on vacation. You give them the lowdown on all the latest gossip in the office. You know the mega juicy gossip. You get through most of your stories and you both realize its been about an hour. You two quickly realize you have work to attend to and plan to reconvene later to continue your talk. Later never comes and you miss out on your friends vacation stories.
We love to talk. Talk about any and everything we see, hear, or do. We have an infatuation with talking about our experiences and activities. It becomes an addiction to talk and tell others about our lives. As it’s a way to bring validity to our lives they we have accomplished things and we have a purpose or matter in this world. That is great, but sometimes using math to solve your problems can help. Use the natural ratios that nature have given to you. You have two ears and one mouth. Sometimes its better to just listen. Listen to someone else story. This will help build a connection with them and allow your relationship to grow. These kinds of moments of listening can help you develop an understanding for the other person and give you more insight on their lives, their mood, or why they are the way they are.
Most of the time we listen to regurgitate the information we just listened to. Basically someone tells you a story, you identify the key points, and you talk to them about the key points of their story. Yes, you are actively listen, but not developing any type of understanding. We learned this type of listening while we were in school. Basically a teacher would lecture and you would be asked questions during class or later during a quiz. Either way it’s just a form of regulation. We were exposed to this type of listening so much that it has become the type of listening we practice on a regular basis.
What if we break the cycle. What if we develop a better understanding of listening, change our listening game, and develop better relationships with people. It would be a great surprise for the people in your life if you change-up listening game and began to understand those around you. They would take notice to your new sincere listening and your attempt of understanding their emotions and points of view. This would in time develop trust and help properly develop your relationship with them.
So we can get rid of pretending to listen to someone. You know where your on your phone or watching tv while someone is talking to you. That’s just a waste of time and will get you no where. Then we have our type of listening. Were we are attentive to what is being said, but we are just listening for key words to regurgitate. This is what you were using before and its old news. Why continue to do or use stuff that is mediocre at best.
Why not practice empathetic listening. You know when you are actively engaged in their story, watching their body language, and following their emotions as they are telling the story. Paying attention to these key details, body language and emotions, will allow you to develop your communicating skill. You are listening to their story, but now you have an understanding of how they felt during the experience and how they feel telling you about the story. Also their body language helps develop an understanding as well. Are they facing in the opposite direction while explaining the story. Are they facing you, engaging you with a positive posture, and excited about what they are telling you about. When you begin to pay attention to these details you are showing the other person you care about them and their story.
Next day at work. You get to work a bit early and greet your friend. You quickly apologize that you didn’t have a chance to listen to their vacation story yesterday and you would like to hear it. As they begin their story to listen to the words and their emotions, and watch their body language. You hear and understand the times during their vacation when they were upset or extremely happy. You don’t have to regurgitate tons of information back at them. You just sit there, actively listen to their story, pay attention to their emotions during their story, and what type of body language they used while telling the story. The other person will appreciate not having a bunch of information regurgitated back at them. But they will greatly enjoy you listening to their story and giving them 100% of your attention. It will mean the world to them.