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Demosthenes's avatar

How much listening do you do when interacting with others?

Asked by Demosthenes (14978points) 3 months ago
10 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Is conversation, for you, just waiting for your turn to talk? I find that with some people, that is the case. Needless to say, I interact with such types less and less these days.

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janbb's avatar

It’s a work in progress for me.

canidmajor's avatar

Context is everything.
Some types of conversations are about exchanging information, stories, impressions.
Some are styled to be focused on the circumstances of one of the parties.
Some are prompted by emotional states, whether anger, nervousness, affection.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Agree with @canidmajor – context; situation is everything.

If the person has something that is interesting, engaging, then I listen closely. Because I may want to discuss, disagree, or otherwise engage.

If the person is talking about their church or their belief in right wing politics, then I tune them out.

There isn’t one single answer.

Demosthenes's avatar

@elbanditoroso Yes, that is true. I think we all have limits in that regard. In either case, I think the more we listen, the more we indicate we want to converse with someone. I don’t particularly want to continue talking to someone who only wants to rant about politics to me.

janbb's avatar

I belong to a discussion group from my faith community where we are given a topic and questions each month. Rather than engaging in a back and forth, we are encouraged to actively listen and absorb what each person has to say. It is good practice.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Not enough. I have improved over the years, but still need to do better. I can be the guy “just waiting for your turn to talk”.

After years of desk work in rather homogenous environments (white middle class people) I was hired at an Amazon warehouse. I was working with Muslim African women in robes & head scarves alongside Wisconsin beer-drinking ice fishermen in overalls and almost every other ethnicity you can imagine.

It was a treat.

I learned to not to dismiss anybody based on looks. I discovered that someone with a face covered in tattoos can be the expert I needed when the machines misbehave.

Last week I started a new job at a hospital. Love it. I work transporting patients all day, making them feel welcome, safe, and as comfortable as can be in the circumstances. Observing my trainers, I see that they listen to their charges, ask about their wants & needs, and keep all conversations centered on the client, not themselves.

If you get a chance to work in a hospital, take it.

jca2's avatar

Honestly, it depends, for me.

Sometimes, if I’m talking to someone and I want to get to know them better, because maybe they’re elderly or from a different culture, or I am interested in something about them, I can ask a lot of questions and most people are happy to talk about themselves. Also, I will do that sometimes if someone is “full of themselves,” and they’ll be so happy to talk about their lives. Also, if I’m tired, that’s a technique I’ll use because I can ask a question or two and they will talk on and on, and I can sit there and just listen.

If I want to get to know someone, like an elderly person, I’ll ask where they grew up and what their father did for a living, and I’ll exclaim and ask a few more questions and it will usually be very interesting. Sometimes they’ll tell me something really personal and it helps me to get to know them better, for example if their father was a drinker or something like that.

In my work as a caseworker, I had to listen, and often would ask very personal questions and I’d have to hear the answers. I never took notes. I would make mental notes and when I got back to the office, I would type them into the computer. To me, writing notes while someone is talking just makes it hard to really comprehend the convo.

Sometimes, if I’m talking to a friend and we both have shared experiences, like about how crazy our day was or some tough experience like holiday shopping or something like that, she will be talking and I’ll be eager to tell my story.

Therefore, it depends on what and who and how tired I am (haha).

JLeslie's avatar

My parents are visiting and I am doing my best to tune out my dad so he doesn’t give me a heart attack. He can be so annoying.

I think on a scale of 1 to 10 my listening skills are about an 8. If someone is telling me about themselves I am really good at just listening. One of the things I love about where I live is meeting older people (some are my age lol) and listening to them tell about the winding road of their life.

If it is a topic that I know something about, or have an opinion and I am in a discussion, I try to not interrupt others, but it ain’t easy if they are slow talkers.

My husband hates being interrupted so I try to stifle.

My closest girlfriends we all four of us run over each other with comments and questions, but we always make our way back to the topic we disrupted.

When I was in 6th grade my teach told the class that most people stop listening to a lecture after ten minutes, and the way to stay focuses is to watch the mouth of the speaker and not doodle, don’t let your mind wonder, take notes if you truly need to learn the material for a test. I took that seriously, and I am great at learning in lecture. I do stay focused and watch the speaker.

I do sometimes dominate a conversation if the other people are too polite or shy to speak up, and I tend to notice I am doing a lot of talking and try to pull back, and hope the others fill in the silence. I’m fine with silence in some situations too, but the Q is asking about listening.

If it is a discussion over zoom I can wait my turn patiently, and I write down what I want to say so I don’t have to remember what I want to say, and that way I can listen to others.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Pretty good. My family and my husbands family are all chatterboxes, I’ve always been the quieter one. I scold sometimes when they overtalk eachother as someone always gsts upset. Ha!

Forever_Free's avatar

Fully present.

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