See Other Slices at Two Writing Teachers

I have a confession.  I’m not listening to you.

I’m a terrible listener.  It’s one of my greatest flaws, I think.  Sometimes it’s because I’m multitasking.  So, while you’re yappity-yapping, I’m writing a grocery list, packing a diaper bag, reading a recipe, or flipping through my mail.  Sometimes, it’s because I can’t keep my mind quiet enough to listen.  It starts to wander away from your voice.  Is tonight a bath night?  What time is that meeting at work tomorrow?  

I want to be a better listener.  So, I try not to multitask.  I try to stay focused.  It doesn’t come naturally to me; it takes effort and fierce concentration.  I have to clear away any temptations to multitask, which means the safest listening place is my kitchen table or couch.  And I have to force my mind to stay still – that’s the hardest part.  It’s like trying to keep a rambunctious toddler from running out of the room every 2 minutes.  When my mind starts to wander, I have to catch it and return it to the conversation.  I can’t put my guard down, or it will be gone.

I’m working on it, I really am.


11 thoughts on “What?

  1. yep, ditto…I guess that is why I need to have more patience with the scattered child…he/she has a scattered teacher xo

  2. “What?” (I’m now rereading this after half-listening to my husband during the first reading) Oh, yeah, that. Ummm. You are not alone…
    My chastisement to myself is this:
    “Is it REALLY multi-tasking if one of the tasks isn’t being done?”

  3. Dana. I love that you confessed. Ha! Is it Jerome making you feel this way? I think you are a good listener… unless Evie is crawling all over you or throwing your phone or running full speed at you… then I can see you struggling to listen. This piece made me laugh because it is so you. You are hard on yourself about listening. There is too much on your mind. I feel the same way.

  4. I feel the same way! And I feel like I will be working on this for the rest of my life! The good part is that you are aware of it and consciously trying to get better. Good luck!

  5. I think it’s a Mom thing. We are so busy with a million things and it’s the only way to get things done is if you think about things while listening to someone else. I’m the same way though and totally know how you feel.

  6. I do the same think…I often find myself asking people to repeat themselves again…it can be a bad habit, but I totally understand…

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