>do we really listen to others?

>last night a dear friend stayed over … in our chat many things floated in and out, relationships, man-woman, culture differences, kind of work we like to do, passion, being a maverick, death, life, love, parents …..

in one such chat, among many other things, my friend told me that she experiences me as someone who does not want to really listen when others tell her something positive about herself.  she also experiences me as someone who wants to hold on to a picture which is sepia coloured,  old, dog eared and tearing at the corner – worse, does not even look like her any more, but she insists that that is the only person that she recognises as herself, irrespective of what others are saying to her.

all of these rang true to my ear and i thought none of these are new and yet they are not causing any  distress as they do when i hear them from A.  As though receiving truth from someone in whom you have a high emotional stake is like taking bitter medicine and the responsibility of turning the medicine into sweet elixir or vanishing it into thin air lies with the other individual.

that set me thinking that when we are talking to people with whom we are very deeply involved, lovers, spouses, bosses, parents, friends, and whoever else – do we really listen?  I mean, do we have the emotional wherewithal to listen at that point of time when truth is being told, be it in a matter of fact way, or in anger or in resentment or in love … do we really listen?  Or is it so that at the moment of listening, we are actually busy matching what is being said with the script that is running in our mind and feeling frustrated when it is not matching line per line?

I know i certainly do that most times.  Hmm,  well, i wonder whether this realisation will provide a little bit of peace to poor exasperated A? ha, ha, ha!!

I am a Management Consultant who works in the area of Diversity, Gender, Culture and Leadership Development with corporate and non-corporate organisations, groups and individuals. I am also an executive coach. I find myself as the best laboratory and incubator for my learnings about myself and human nature and hence like sharing my views, life stories and other narratives that I build as I go along. I am interested in people, society, culture, ways of life, individual and collective narratives/stories as they allow us to connect with one another as nothing else does. I also write about coaching, people's lives, culture, stories, work as a therapist, mother my daughter, believe in a feminine way of life, and most of all that all politics starts from the self and personal convictions

4 thoughts on “>do we really listen to others?

  1. >Hi, came over from Arundati's blog. There are many times, when one does let the mind wander, as we pretend to listen. Especially if you tend to disagree.

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