We all know that one person who just can’t wait for their turn to talk and always makes the discussion about themselves.
The truth is, we all do it sometimes. A lot of us are great talkers but not many of us are great listeners.
We’ve got to change this about our culture. Listening is an important part to growing and learning.
If we as a society are constantly checked out and thinking about only ourselves, we are never going to progress as people.
The western culture has developed so much that multitasking has become second nature to everybody, even while we are having discussions.
When we have conversations, we are usually already thinking of what we are going to say in response or criticizing and analyzing what the speaker is saying.
But rarely do we simply listen and really take in what the other person is saying.
Psychology Today said only about 10% of us listen effectively. Because of the distractions of technology and our own thoughts, we struggle to focus and listen when people talk to us.
Listening to other people can be boring sometimes. Even so, it’s always important to listen.
The best way to do that is to practice active listening. Active listening requires a bit of effort from the listener. It makes the conversation feel less one-sided even when only one person is speaking and it lets them know that you haven’t completely checked out.
Examples of active listening would be nodding your head, saying things like “mhm” and making facial expressions to reflect how you feel about what the other person is saying.
It is easy to get caught up in our own heads whenever we are having a conversation with someone, especially as college students when we are only now discovering and exploring intimate bits of our personalities. As a result, we fall into these selfish conversation patterns that leave us empty and not really gaining anything from that conversation.
We must realize that other people have important things to say and that if we actively listen we may actually gain something valuable from the conversation.