Can you hear me now? Worn out cliché you may be thinking…and, yes probably so. However, this is not a commercial for cell phone reception. Instead, it’s a message about the importance of “listening.” Surely, I am not the only one who places high priority on listening (both being the listener and the talker).

Today, right this moment, I am feeling particularly aware that we, as a society, seem to feel so busy and preoccupied that we don’t pause and truly listen to the person who is talking—we are caught up in our own worlds, it seems, and the internal dialogue associated with whatever is so heavily occupying our own thoughts.

Have you ever gone in for a massage or facial, and the therapist asks if you have any specific concerns? Then, during the session, doesn’t even address those concerns? I certainly have—and, it makes me feel like it would’ve been a more pleasant experience had the therapist never even asked—at least then I wouldn’t be in expectation that the concern would be addressed. My perception of the situation is that what I have to say must not be too important-in a word, I feel disrespected and unimportant to that person.

Why do we have relationships in our lives, if not to respect the other person enough to “hear” and “listen” what is on the other person’s mind? It seems, at times, that we actually pay less attention to those who are most significant in our lives. I am realistic enough to realize that I can’t change another person, but I can begin with me. So…..

Just for today (and hopefully days to come), when someone is attempting to engage in conversation, I will:

  • Put my phone away
  • Click pause on the television
  • Lift my head out of the computer
  • Show respect by actively listening and responding

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