Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There are certain things that I find myself utterly incapable of. 'Listening' would be one of them. I fit right in my family of very heavyweight "non-listeners", for the lack of a better word to describe this widespread condition. Now, "non-listeners" can, in turn, be classified in to Type 1, the talker or the yapper, who have one-way blockage. Stuff will continually come out of their mouth whether it is necessary or not. But they hardly take in any cue from their surroundings. I , my son and my daughter are, all, Type 1 "non-listeners". We think we know what we want and try and assert that onto the people around us.
I have a new friend who is an excellent listener. I find myself chatting with him about all kinds of problems that I have on my mind. After a few months, I realized that he knows almost everything about me but I hardly know anything about him. With that in mind, one day, I picked up the phone and called him, thinking I will get educated about his likes and dislikes and his challenges in life. I made myself clear at the very start that this time, I wanted him to do the talking. After a minute or two, I found myself doing what I always do best, articulating what's on my mind. The poor guy had no choice but to listen to me, again.
I have successfully passed on this quality to my kids. My three year old daughter definitely excels at this trait. She will narrate a few sentences and ask me , "Mommy, isn't that a great story ?" In case, I take a few moments to respond, she will even help me, "Say Yes, mommy." And so, I would have to agree to her statement, without fail.
The second category of "non-listeners" are Type 2, the absolute non-communicators, people with two-way blockage. They will neither listen to what is being told nor would they make themselves clear to others as to where they are coming from. A prime example of Type 2 would be my husband. Needless to say, I have a very fascinating time, figuring him out. I might have to ask him a single question several times in an attempt to get an answer. For instance, I might have asked him what he wants for breakfast more than 3 times over 15 minutes. However, a complete silence as a response cannot be inferred as "I don't want anything". He might have been thinking about it without saying it outloud that he was. So, after thinking about it for sometime he may have gone upstairs and said ( to himself) that he wanted "milk and cereal", not expecting any acknowledgement from me to verify that I heard him. Hence, he will actually be surprised if I have not served him his desired breakfast after he has waited for half an hour.
I am sure you will appreciate that it is particularly interesting to be around such a person as you never know what the next moment holds for you.