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That people will listen.

(73 Posts)
Teetime Mon 08-May-17 14:49:41

I have noticed more and more lately that when in conversation with others wherever that may be that active listening is not common. By that I mean actually acknowledging what the other person is saying either by gestures nodding, smiling etc and continuing the line of conversation. Sometimes I feel as though nothing I have said in a conversation has been heard at all. Perhaps I am dull and my conversation isn't worth hearing but I don't think so as I try to reflect back what the person has said to me, to acknowledge what they say and ask more questions or offer supportive words if they are indicated. I sometimes feel I have been present in a conversation at all. Is it me?

Teetime Mon 08-May-17 14:50:24

haven't been present- sorry.

callgirl1 Mon 08-May-17 15:29:40

I fee like that here regularly. There`s only me and my daughter in the house, and she`s glued to her laptop, from getting up in the morning until going to bed, around 2am. I talk, but then later she`ll ask me about what I was on about earlier. It`s so frustrating!

KatyK Mon 08-May-17 15:52:15

I sometimes feel, with certain people when out in social situations, that they are looking around them while I am talking to them. I feel as though they are looking for someone more important/interesting to talk to. One person I know does this on a regular basis. It's infuriating.

Christinefrance Mon 08-May-17 16:39:26

How I agree, I have friends who tell me all the minutiae of their family's life but don't even know the names of my children. Another friend has the same problem and we think its because we both worked in mental health it made us good listeners.

Teetime Mon 08-May-17 16:52:04

Yes I agree I was a nurse and went on a number of counselling courses so I learnt a lot about active listening skills but also I feel if you are interested in your fellow humans rather than just yourself you would listen wouldn't you? I end up nodding and smiling and not contributing too much because it feels as though no-one is interested in you anyway.

KatyK Mon 08-May-17 17:06:01

It's awful isn't it? I always ask about other people's families, problems etc and then wait for them to ask about mine. Very few do - so I tell them anyway grin The person I mentioned above has a pecking order. She is the same person who said to me once 'Since my DH died, I go out with people I wouldn't dream of going out with before, no offence'. Some taken actually.

Alima Mon 08-May-17 17:33:05

I find the same, in fact I have one so-called friend who can beat her gums for hours about her and her family but never bothers asking about anyone else. CBA anymore. I always thought conversation was a two-way thing, both taking part and the talk flowing. More and more lately I avoid some people who I know can talk for hours without taking a breath. I will be totally dependent on these online conversations soon at this rate. Pleased you raised the subject Teetime, thought it was just me.

NanaandGrampy Mon 08-May-17 17:55:41

I feel that this is symptomatic of the 'me ,me, me' culture that is growing at a rate of knots. A lack of empathy, patience and insome cases interest about others.

It's a sad state of affairs.

I was in a large shopping centre today, doing some people watching. I would estimate 75% of people were looking at or on their phone. They were not 'in the moment' at all. Seemingly unaware of their surroundings or fellow shoppers.This includes Mums pushing buggies. Not interacting with their little ones at all.

In the cafe we were in , at the next table was a mum and a toddler. For the entire time they were there (about 30mins) she never spoke to her child once, simply pushing bits of food at her whilst she was absolutely glued to her phone!

She never once answered anything the little girl asked. This is how our grandchildren are learning about communication. Give it 20 years and I wonder where we'll be?

I totally agree with you Teetime conversation is a dying art .

Greyduster Mon 08-May-17 19:06:28

My sister in law is like this. DH phones her to keep in touch - I can't remember the last time she phoned him. Then she never asks how either of us are; just witters on about herself and the dog. I could tell her that DH has cut his throat and is bleeding to death on the carpet and she would hardly miss a beat. Even face to face a two way conversation is a lost cause. At DS's recent birthday party there were a lot of people I hadn't met. One particular lady instigated a conversation with me and when I was answering one of her questions she actually turned away from me and began talking to someone else! I though "gosh I know I'm pretty boring but that takes the biscuit!"

Elrel Mon 08-May-17 22:51:19

I thought it was just me! I can see when I've completely lost my listener's attention.
Maybe we need a course in 'How to Keep Your Audience'! Perhaps I should enrol in a stand up comedy class!

Eloethan Tue 09-May-17 00:00:40

Yes, it's quite unnerving when the person you are talking to appears not to be listening. If this happens with friends, I really don't think they are worth having because they destroy your confidence. A good friendship is a balanced one in which each person is interested in the other person's life and opinions. A good friend can tolerate the few occasions when their friend is so desperate to talk about something that the conversation becomes one-sided - provided it only happens now and again!

I think there are times when you are flung together with people you don't know and you find you have little in common so conversation is stilted. This can be awkward and I haven't mastered the art of bringing such conversations to a close and moving on without seeming impolite. I find that there are certain people I "gel" with and conversation is easy but I have also experienced the opposite where I feel very uncomfortable.

NanaandGrampy I have also seen little children being totally ignored by their parent/s and I think it is very sad.

Hopehope Tue 09-May-17 00:33:21

Sorry? what were you all saying? i wasn't listening grin

Joking aside Teetime I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. I agree it seems to be the me me culture. I try to listen to what others are saying, although in some cases I can feel my eyes glazing over, and I am wondering to myself if their teeth are going to catch fire!

I must be boring too as I often get the feeling that no one is taking notice of what I am saying. i sometimes think to myself " If I sidle off will they notice?" sad

Angela1961 Tue 09-May-17 06:51:25

How about phoning your son/daughter for a chat and whilst your talking, they are talking/interacting with their children and not listening to you at all ! I stop talking sometimes and they assume I've said what I've needed and they will start a new conversation. Annoying !

cornergran Tue 09-May-17 07:07:08

Or even worse angelina you can hear a background noise and realise it's a keyboard or phone, their attention is on that not the conversation. Mr C and I often comment that we need to return the invisibility cloak to Harry Potter. hmm.

cornergran Tue 09-May-17 07:08:28

Sorry, angela, the iPad wasn't listening to me type!

annsixty Tue 09-May-17 07:15:04

That is my D's biggest fault cornergran and it so annoys me. I only see her 2/3 times a year so I do think in a conversation with me she can just concentrate on me. She is soon on the phone to me with her problems. In all other ways she is a good D and at nearly 52 really should know better. The latest thing is, she is playing with the new puppy whilst talking to me and he is getting all the attention.

cornergran Tue 09-May-17 07:29:31

Is there something about just not being able to focus on one thing? it's multi tasking gone mad. So many tensions between people are simply because one or both of them talks but doesn't listen. We have a long term friend who is like that, always a tendency but so much worse now. Nothing we say is absorbed or valued, she talks at us constantly and we are expected to recall every word. She is currently very hurt that we haven't invited her to stay. We have decided we can cope with one day but no more than that so day visits it is.

Anya Tue 09-May-17 07:37:23

It's not just the younger generation though is it?

I've found that older people are just as bad, in fact worse. One long-standing friend now just talks about herself, her family and (worst of all) about people I've never met. On the odd occasion when I can get a word in edgeways she just interrupts and carries on her monologue. I think this is a sign of ageing as she never used to be like this.

I'm starting to avoid these people as...well there's no point in being in their company as I am just a sounding board who simply sits there and says nothing.

Anya Tue 09-May-17 07:40:08

Mind you, there's a lot of this goes on on GN too. People who don't read posts and just want to have their say about themselves.

Anya Tue 09-May-17 07:40:57

Cornergran that sounds very familiar.

Welshwife Tue 09-May-17 07:54:55

This thread is a relief as I thought it was just me!!

I find some friends I have had for years I still have proper conversations with and luckily with family members but often when out in a group I now just listen and nod vigorously if I find this ignoring. Saves breath!

ExaltedWombat Tue 09-May-17 09:51:19

Maybe you're with someone who thinks silence is merely wasted talking time. Or maybe you feel listening is the price you pay for having YOUR turn to talk. Or maybe you're a man :-)

joot Tue 09-May-17 09:58:15

I have a long standing friend who i have only lately realised doesn't listen to me most of the time. Whilst i accept this is how she is i now find i can't tell her about a major trauma in my life as i know she will only half take it in and will repeat incorrectly to her other friend. It took me years to realise this is just how she is. Shame but now i am a step back from her.sad

aggie Tue 09-May-17 10:00:51

Just the other day someone asked me a question , I stared to answer but noticed her gaze was elsewhere and stopped talking , after about a minute she said "thank you " and wandered off ........ wonder what she thought I had said !