Just Waiting To Talk
Listening is hard work. Effective and engaged listening requires a lot of emotional and mental energy. Think about it. Not only do you have to listen to the words, you have to hear the tone of the words, the volume of the words, the facial gestures, the body language, and we have to do this all day, every day.
It’s no wonder most of us aren’t good listeners. It’s just too hard.
To compensate for not listening, most of us have developed a bad habit of not only not listening, but simply waiting to talk. That is, we hear just enough of the conversation to construct our reply and once that’s done, we stop listening.
How do you know if you’re doing this?
Here’s the test, the next time you’re talking to your spouse (or anyone!), pay attention to what you’re thinking about. Are you thinking about what the other person is saying?
Or are you waiting for them to stop talking so you can say what you’ve decided to say?
If so, you’re not listening. You’re just waiting to talk.
When you feel yourself doing that, refocus your listening. After all, when you do respond, you want your response to at least be close to what your spouse actually said and not what you thought you heard.