#ViewFromMyWindow - Are You A Good Listener?

Are you a listener, a good listener? And do you like to be heard?

Well, if you ask me the same question, I'd have to say I am one. At least, I would like to think so. By nature more so than anything else. The thing is I find talking about something, explaining my views to someone else rather strenuous. One of the reasons, I love writing, you see. However, there are times when I like to be heard too. But on those rare occasions, I find there are very few who are willing to listen. Family, yes, they are always happy to but the others, not so much.

It's not a recent observation really. Not, at all. I have seen it, experienced it first hand for years now. People seem to only need you as a one way sounding board. Their problems, their joys, their accomplishments, that's all they focus on. As long as you are listening to what they have to say, responding to something that concerns their life, you have their attention. But the moment you move on to your life, their interest wanes. Do you know why that is?

On those rare occasions when I wish to be heard, I find there are very few who are willing to listen.

I'm an introvert and never really look for people to listen to me much because I like to keep things to myself. But when I'm engaged in a conversation, I expect it to be a two-way street. This my-life-is-more-important-than-yours syndrome is something that puts me off meeting and engaging with new people. Why even bother when I have enough of my troubles and chores to keep me busy. Why try to hear when I'm not being heard?

Of course, not everyone is the same but most are, often unknowingly but still are. 

The other day I was talking to someone at over tea. She had just shared something pertaining to her life. In fact, she probably had been talking for an hour or so before I even began. But when I did, I noticed she was visibly impatient. In fact, not really listening to me either. From the expression on her face, I could gauge that she just couldn't wait to get back to talking about her own life, her family, and her work. She didn't even bother to offer her two cents on what I was talking about. And the moment she got a chance she went back to talking about things that concern her, things I'm not remotely related to.

Have we really become so selfish that we can't even pretend to be interested? What about basic manners? We all know, manners maketh man or is that just passe now.

Sometimes I think I shouldn't even bother to listen. But in our busy life, if we take time out to spend with someone, is it really not justified to want to be heard too? Otherwise, where's the meaning of it all?

Meaningful conversations seem to be a thing of the past or limited to a select few. With mindfulness being something that is apparently lacking in most of us, it is but natural to expect someone to put in as much effort and heart into a conversation as you are. But as I have seen it rarely happens these days.

If we care to be in the present for someone, is it not but natural to expect them to be for us?

What are your thoughts on this?

Linking this to #WritingWednesdays