|Blogs > rm_mehbighands > just riffing|
i was reading something on another blog about listening. it was obvious from the originator of the blog and the comments received, that the concensus was that people just aren't very good at listening to each other anymore.
well, communication is a two-way street, and I think it's more than slightly unfair to just blame the whole mess on short-attention spans or a fuck-care attitude. Because that's only on the receiving end of the transaction. And when you think about it, much as very cause has an effect, the dearth of listening ability has to come from somewhere.
So! I say screw the art of listening. What about the art of conversation?
I do not blame the communication breakdown on the severe lack of individual ability in simply paying attention to someone else. I, myself, have been guilty of zoning out of someone's speech at times, and i AM someone who prides himself on being a good listener. I do believe I am a good listener, I look at people in the eye when they're talking, and not only do I listen carefully to what they say, I try to discern what they are trying to tell me but aren't saying, by reading between the lines, and observing the little things the tongue tries to hide, but the body betrays.
But I do zone out.
And I attribute the above-mentioned phenomenon to the lost art of conversation. nobody seems to be able to converse anymore. There is very little of value to alot of what people say nowadays, and this works on two levels.
Content-wise, talk has somehow evolved into salesmanship and adulation. Of course not everybody is guilty of this (We do all have our moments). But it's really hard to give someone your attention, when all they seem willing and comfortable talking about are themselves, TV, celebrities, etc. I do enjoy knowing people inside and out, but when people talk about themselves, they just go in circles, ever-circling a very intangible centre, repeatedly regaling us with tales of insignificant triumps and superficial details. It's a lot of talk, without necessarily communicating anything.
On another level, is the way we talk itself. Nobody seems to be able to speak assuredly, taking time to pause and consider and consolidate their thoughts before presenting them in a eloquent manner. Instead, what we get are fillers, such as "uhms" and "ahs" and the like, and occasionally non-stop chatter, because it seems that people think that a better way to communicate an idea is not to refine it to the bare essence, but seem to prefer to just assault us with a diluge of information, mostly irrelevant or only slightly irrelevant, compelling the listener to undertake the dual task of sifting and interpreting.
So you see, maybe it's time we stop blaming the listener, but start thinking about how we could make someone really listen. Because it's really hard to pay attention to someone who can barely string intelligible sentences together about the latest movie they saw.
There also exists a rare skill, that of banter, which is essentially, to me a least, the much desired capability to flirt by saying alot about nothing. And when I say flirt, I mean it in the loosest sense of the word. But more on that later.
6/26/2006 1:34 am
MBH, what the originator of the blog you mentioned are zooming into the specific of poor listening/understanding in terms of relationship. You are probably coming from the point of basic communication skill. Both of you are not wrong but on the different wave length I must say.|