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.