Saturday, August 10, 2013

Listen To The Ice Cream

I just got off the phone with a friend who is shocked at her family's inability to listen to one another. They all talk at once--on top of one another. They don't respond to one another because they are so busy speaking.

It's like having dozens of sof-t-cone machines churning out ice cream. It's going all over the floor because there is no one to catch it, let alone eat it and enjoy it.

And of course they ask her nothing about what's going on in her life.

 For years this has been how I evaluate my social experiences: did you find out anything about me and my life? 

This drives my husband crazy because when we are discussing a party on the way home in the car, I almost always say, "S/he didn't ask anything about me." Then I proceed to give a bio on everyone with whom I interacted just to prove that I take my own advice.

To avoid being a victim I'll often dive into the word river only to find that after a few sentences I'm again drowning in the story which is all about the other person.

It's not like people aren't aware. I've even had someone say, "Oh, my God! The last time we talked it was all about me. Tell me what's happening with you!" So I do. For a few moments.

I used to get mad, but now I just sigh.

That is until just a few moments ago because of this phone call from my wise, witty, wonderful friend who has SEVENTY-FIVE years of amazing life experience to share!

So heads up, people! Ask others about themselves. Listen without speaking. Look that person in the eye. Inquire more deeply into what they have just told you.

Enjoy one another. Eat a sof-t-cone.

And what's your experience with this? I'm listening.

1 comment:

David Byrd said...

You sound kinda angry, Girl! It's a symptom of our plugged-in society. It's about the loss of engagement with others and the slow demise of the curiosity of our humanness. We are playing out the world described in Neil Postman's 1985 classic, "Amusing Ourselves to Death", which began with television but has now exponentially increased with our E-World. I try to do what you are doing - engage, listen, be curious, and eat a sof-t-cone. It's much more fun to find out about others than hear the tape I play of myself! Ciao! -David.