Learning to Listen

I’m sure many of you have read posts on how we should learn to listen to others.

Learn to listen to their voices even when they do not speak. To look out for others and try to realise whatever they are trying to convey to you through their words or actions. However, many of us, after feeling deeply impacted upon reading such posts… simply return to our usual everyday lives. We say what we want to say and hear what others say without really internalising anything that is unrelated to us.

We fail to listen to the voices of those around us.

Sometimes, even if they are verbally speaking directly towards us, we choose to ignore them.

Yet at the same time, when we are ignored, we blame others for being inconsiderate and mean. However, have we ever considered the times that we may have done the same to others?

Unlike those other posts that you see online which could have described incidents of attempted suicide due to others not listening to their cries for help, mine is much less serious than that. It is simply about learning to listen to be considerate of others.

For me, I felt inspired to write this post because I got blue-ticked (read on WhatsApp) and ignored multiple times over the course of just two days. Although I didn’t say anything about being left on “read” to the people involved and laughed off getting ignored outright or simply turned silent to use my phone… I can’t say I didn’t feel a little hurt. I mean, I’m generally used to it and already have low expectations but I’ve been pretty close with my bunkmates for quite some time now, so perhaps I made the mistake of expecting more.

It made me wonder, have I done the same to them or anyone else?

In recent memory, no. However, I have brushed people aside with short answers and made myself obviously pre-occupied so they wouldn’t disturb me.

The reasons why I did that, were likely due to the same reason they chose to ignore me.

The topic I was talking to them about likely did not interest them as much as it interested me. Thus, they chose to ignore me. Despite knowing this, I felt like they could have at least just told me outright that they did not really care rather than simply ignoring me. Though of course, there is a chance that they were in a really bad mood (not in the mood to talk) and I was the one not being aware of how they were feeling when I started talking to them.

For me, if I’m disinterested, I’d maybe feign interest if I don’t have anything else I particularly want to do (though there is a possibility it may interest me as the conversation continues). If I have something else I’d rather be doing, I’d just apologise to them and tell them that I don’t really have anything to say about what they are talking about and want to continue doing something or start on something.

I feel that if we have the time, the very least we could do is listen to others.

Listen to others as you would like others to listen to you without halfway indulging yourself in using your phone or start talking about something else while the person is still talking. Or at the very least, tell them that you would rather not talk about whatever the current topic is because you are not interested or if you are in a bad mood and don’t want to talk.

It doesn’t matter if it takes time to reply or tell them your reasons, just don’t leave others hanging forever. Don’t give people the false impression that you will listen to them only to give up halfway.

That’s just… cruel.

– K.A.L.T

failure to listen


I feel like for me, the lesson that taught me to get used to being ignored also taught me to be a better listener. The more I got ignored, the more I felt that I would never want anyone to feel ignored. Perhaps that’s why I often try to at least reply to anyone who would talk to me or if in a group, ask them to repeat what they said if I ended up replying someone else first. Being ignored in a group is something commonplace. Something I find saddening. A major reason, why I prefer to talk to people one on one rather than in groups. By doing so, I can focus my attention on listening to what that one person has to say.

After writing this whole post, I have to admit though, sometimes I just talk too much nonsense that they probably get sick of it. Although personally I find talking rubbish the best way to kill time (cause it’s fun) when I have nothing better to do. Not everyone would be in the mood to listen to nonsense all the time after all.

Feeling hurt for being ignored despite the fact that I wasn’t even talking about anything important… I guess I’m the selfish one. Or perhaps, we are all just selfish doing what we want to do, feeling what we feel based on our own personal expectations and experiences. In the end, that’s just human nature… Or is that statement nothing more than an excuse?

Maybe that’s a topic for another day.


Are you a good listener? Have you always been a good listener or did the hurt from getting ignored countless times before turn you into someone who could be there to listen to those who don’t have anyone to listen to them?

Leave all your thoughts, feelings and experiences (if you are comfortable sharing of course), in the comments below. 🙂

 

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