5 Times To Really Listen

Sunday, July 13, 2014

5 Times to Really Listen
Sometimes, we get so lost in our own heads, we can forget to pay attention. These are the five times we absolutely need to pay attention to.

1. During an argument with someone you care about.
If you pay attention to what the person you're arguing with is really saying instead of trying to defend yourself or think about your own side of the argument, you'll likely often find that the argument can be resolved much more quickly and agreeably. People argue because they want to be heard, not necessarily because they want to be right (though there are definitely certain cases where that is the goal). Give them a voice, and there won't be anything really to fight about.

2. When you find yourself in a silent environment.
We live in a world of constant noise. Phones buzzing, televisions blaring, cars zooming, music blasting, fans whirring...the world never shuts up! So when you find yourself surrounded by silence for once, instead of trying to create noise out of fear (because change is scary and silence would be a big change)), appreciate the silence for a moment. It won't last long.

3. While listening to music.
Because music is beautiful, an art form that we should really pay attention to. It deserves to be listened to fully. Even if the lyrics are repetitive and it's only the beat we can appreciate. 

4. During a casual conversation with someone you just met.
This is how you turn strangers into friends. If you have no intention of becoming friends with this person, by all means, tune out the conversation and daydream about your future (or whatever it is you're thinking about instead of listening). But if you want to make a new friend, it helps if you pay attention to the conversation and actually contribute something more than just the typical responses.

5. While receiving constructive criticism.
We might have the natural tendency to tune out anyone who is saying something we don't want to hear, but by doing so we miss out on the chance to accept help from someone who genuinely wants to help us. Who knows? The advice might be just what you need to succeed.

Listening is a skill that comes in handy in a multitude of situations, and we'd all be wise to cultivate our listening skills. Of course, there are definitely some situations where our listening skills might actually hurt us, but that's another list ;)

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