“Nature has given men one tongue but two ears,
that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.”
I must admit I too often failed to follow this advise. I tended to only half listen and began forming my response before the other person had finished talking. Of course, I missed a lot of what was being said and ended up not really making much of a contribution to the conversation.
After realizing that I was saying stupid things because I hadn’t paid attention to what was being said and sometimes causing hurt feelings I worked on changing my ways. I have learned that conversation can be subtle and with nuances that are important. Now I try very hard to listen attentively and patiently so I can hear what is being said in its entirety and context.
We all want to be heard and we all have something to say but we miss a lot when we start thinking about what we want to say before the one speaking has said what they want us to hear. I think there would be much less anger and conflict in this world if people would slow down and truly listen to each other.
I haven’t perfected my conversational skills. I still too often get distracted and either don’t listen attentively or just rudely interrupt the one speaking. Still a work in progress here.
I will add this…
some people need to be interrupted or they would never shut up
some people really have nothing interesting to say
some people are hateful trouble makers and should be silenced
Like I said, still a work in progress here.