Why conversations fail to connect us to others?
How many of us have met a salesperson that just won’t stop for a second to let you speak, or even worse, a distant family member that always has something to say about how you live, but hasn’t gotten around to pay proper attention to what you're saying?
When these kinds of people talk, they think that they are in charge of the conversation, but what really has happened is that they have lost the connection with you. You're thinking about something else, or maybe you’re just busy building a counterargument while they talk. What you're not doing is trying to actively listen to that salesperson or relative, and most likely you should avoid people like that, but sometimes we can't.
If we think about why conversations don't lead to understanding and connection, we might see that emotions play an important role. Some feelings make us resistant to the other person. For instance, a situation where a person is failing to listen to your voice can lead to resentment and bitterness. That will lead to low levels of trust and therefore the “speech” will end up being wasted and the connection will fail.
“Connection fails when you don't feel that you're heard.”
Here's a story I heard some time ago. There were two funerals. One of those was of a man that didn’t have much and didn’t attach a great meaning to the material things. He was an easy going man that didn’t take himself too seriously, but he never missed an opportunity to hear someone out and make them smile. He had his faults, yes. But when his funeral came, the flower shops had the day of the year. At his funeral, everyone wanted to step forth and share a good memory of him.
On the other hand, the second funeral was of a man that was very rich. Self-made millionaire. He started in a poor family, but a loving family. However, when he left home his heart went somewhere else too. There were not many crying faces in his funeral. Actually, very few people came. Nobody stepped forth to say much about the man.
3 weeks before he passed, he got to know a young man. They had a great connection, but at the funeral, the young man felt that he had more to say than his lifelong family. And it was truly sad. As the young man contemplated the puzzling experience, he realised that although the man had changed in his last 3 weeks of life, the rest of his life he was neither the listener nor the shoulder to cry on. He was the person that always had something to say.
We've designed asya to help people become better listeners.
By trying a mindful listening practice you can learn in real-time how much you listen and improve your listening skills. We believe that with more awareness you can make better choices in your interaction.