Do you consider yourself a good listener? C’mon, be honest now. When you engage in conversation with others, is it an equal back-and-forth/give-and-take dialogue, or are you a conversation terrorist who takes a person hostage to fulfill your own banter needs?
Interesting question, wouldn’t you say? Makes you really think.
Definition of a “conversation terrorist”
Someone who, without care, restraint, respect or regard to a mutual conversation, shared thoughts and/or bonding time, continually interrupts and holds you as a total ‘dialogue prisoner,’ with no easy escape other than to say your other line is ringing.”
If you sit back and take notice of the people that are your closest and most trusted in this world, I assure you it will be those that are genuinely interested in your life, and they are the friends and/or family that know how to actively LISTEN to you.
Ahhhh…listening. One would think it’s so simple, but to some people, it’s a very difficult task. These folks can’t seem to focus in on anyone else’s life except their own. In fact, I’ll go one step further. If you’re lucky enough to even start a story with them…they quickly use that as a method of redirecting the chat fest back towards themselves and how that story relates to them. Sometimes I actually feel like a Boeing 747 being rerouted to an alternate destination.
It’s very frustrating. These peeps don’t even realize that when you see their number on your caller ID, you cringe because it’s just so exhausting to talk to them.
God gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason; he wanted us to listen double the amount he wanted us to talk…right?
Don’t get me wrong…there are times when we all have stories or dilemmas that warrant more stage time. I get it. However, when this becomes a recurring theme each and every time you talk to a particular person…Well, you get the drift.
Besides the conversation terrorist, there is also the radical texter. I know I’ve written before about narcissists, but this is a brand-new breed. They send you a barrage of text messages, bulldozing you with their feelings, their lives, their issues, without ever giving you even a chance to respond before the ding of the next text comes rolling in.
In the day of technological advancements, it’s getting harder and harder to escape from the people who have gained access into your life. So, for me, if someone is taking advantage of my time, the conversation or the ability to reach me, I’m going to do whatever is necessary to…well…get the hell out of Dodge.
Here is my lesson, boys and girls. Be aware. Be aware of how you listen, be aware of how you speak and for how long you speak, be aware of your impact on others, be aware of what you offer and what you take… Be aware.
Make it a conscious choice to practice active listening. We all want to be heard. Take time to be a friend. Be the best ‘you’ you can be. It takes mindfulness to be a giving being.
If you actually stop talking and listen…it’s amazing what you will hear and learn.
Until next time…
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The Buddha Team