the subtle art of listening

What does it really mean to listen? Like most of you I am guilty- guilty of not paying attention every once in awhile (maybe more, I couldn’t really say. I wasn’t exactly paying attention remember?).

If on that day I have much on my mind then it most likely drifts aimlessly to those seemingly important things. Sometimes I have too much to say that I forget you too may need to be heard or I might think that you’ve said your piece just so many damn times, I’d rather not be reminded of it for the nth time. It’s selfish, I know. In all those instances ‘I’ is probably the most overused pronoun.

photo from didiondoll.tumblr.com

You’re not the only person in the conversation and if what you wanna say is interesting or if you believe your opinion to be important then you should give the other person the benefit of being heard and actually considered. He too might say something as interesting if not more. Yapping on and on about your worries, thoughts or achievements without giving so much as a thought or acknowledgement that the other exists is not just rude, it’s actually pretty offensive.

If you’re Ms. Busy and have too much on your plate to be in a conversation then politely tell¬† whoever is talking to you exactly that. They deserve to know that you’re not in the mood to listen before they start pouring their heart out to you. However if the problem is that you too have something bothering you or are just really excited to relay something that means a lot to you then have the decency to let the other finish. Don’t brush off whatever he just said because you’re in a hurry to get to your topic next. That kind of attitude will guarantee you resentment. If you’re too damn mighty and shucking insensitive then why should anybody listen to what you have to say in the first place. KARMA’S A BITCH and it will not discriminate. Sooner or later, whoever you are, the disrespect (or in some cases, the disregard) for other’s feelings will garner you the same treatment and to be quite honest, you absolutely deserve it.

The last possible reason for brushing someone off and not listening to things they’re saying is that they’ve said it too many times before, you can basically say it back to them. Trust me when I say, I know how that feels. My mind starts drifting the moment that happens and I have to consciously pull myself back to reality and remind myself to pay the least bit attention. If that happens, you have to ask yourself why these words are repated to you ever so often. Do you ever take them seriously? Because the repeatition might be due to your inability to heed them. If on the ther hand, that’s not the case or you don’t agree with that advice then say something because chances are, if you’re tired hearing it, they are also exhausted saying it. No one wants to sound like a broken record- at least, no NORMAL PERSON I know.

Of all my peeves, having someone not pay attention or talk over you is probably one of the worse. TO me it’s not just plain insensitivity, it says a lot about what I mean to you and how our relationship is- what it’s founded on. If you have the audacity to do that and not even flinch then that means I may not matter to you as much as I hoped and our relationship, whatever it is, is as unimportant to you as what I have to say.

I know I might not be the best person to be blogging about this since there are times when I violate the same advices I gave but trust me, on the occasions that I stick to them, everything works out fine. For the other times that I don’t, I’m so sorry- temporary lapse in character. I’m working hard to rid myself of that nasty habit. I hope you will too. ūüôā

 

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And I really just need to add this. If you are with someone, especially if you’re in the middle of a conversation, KEEP YOUR BLOODY PHONE IN YOUR POCKET AND STOP STARING AT IT EVERY 5 SECONDS. You’re busy I get it but it does make me feel like you’d rather not be here. If that’s the case though, then tell me. I at the very least deserve to know that right?

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over a sundae

We know the drill all too well. We get dumped (or we dump him), passed for a promotion, feeling like a drag or in a rut, or practically any depressing, tormenting, disgusting or heartbreaking milestone we go through, we run to our best friend. Nope, not the one who shares our clothes and eats half our sandwich but that sweet, refreshing, mouth-watering and creamy goodness- the sundae complete with chocolate fudge and sprinkles.

I, personally, am not a big sweets fan but you already know that from the countless times I mentioned it in the entries prior. I do, however, make an exception for my friends and cousins who fancy a cone. A few days ago, while I was visiting my aunt at St. Luke’s hospital (She’s fine, worry not!) my cousin asked me to hang out an have a talk over ice cream.

And that we did!

with chelsea

It wasn’t one of those heavy, tearful conversations, in fact it was light and playful. It was exactly what I needed at that moment, a pick-me-up on a rather dull day. We talked about our plans, where we’d be in a few years, relationships, music, clothes, celebrities and family. EVERYTHING. It was organic and easy.

Whatever the nature of those conversations are, it should remind us that¬†being open, talking to someone is an important human connection we all need to have. We need someone to listen to our problems, no matter how petty (yes that includes how annoyed you are about a fellow commuter talking OH SO LOUDLY ON THE PHONE when you’re trying to nap) or huge they are. We long for a friend who cares enough to ask us how our day was, what we wanna do tomorrow or who we wanna be 5 years from now.

It matters. You’re not self centered just because you want someone to care.¬†

And by the way, it means you too should be thoughtful enough to ask and care enough to listen. Their stories are as important as yours so savor them as much, if not more than you enjoy that sundae.

You know I realized it might not be the sundae that makes us feel better, it may be the company that comes with it. 

Image

what my sister asked me

I have the sweetest little sister anyone could ever ask for. She’s a diligent straight A student who hates confrontations and shies away from compliments so imagine my surprise when we had this conversation last night.

HER: Maybe I should be tougher, meaner.

ME: Why? What’s up with you?

HER: I just think that people always expect me to do everything because I’m too nice. I don’t scream when I ask them and don’t make scene when they don’t do anything.

ME: Never stop being nice to accommodate people being rude.¬†People will always try to corrupt the good that you have; don’t ever give in to that.

worthit

Being tough and strong is different from being mean and rude. You don’t measure strength¬†by the decibels of her yelling in an argument nor do you see it when he seemingly doesn’t care about anyone else. In fact, I think you’re stronger when you have enough courage to retain a good attitude and continue to care even in the worst possible circumstances, even when people take advantage of it.

Anger every once in while is not a bad thing but allowing it to take over you so people would listen or do what you ask of them isn’t healthy. If you allow people to bully you into changing, even if that’s to becoming a bigger bully than the other person is, that becomes your default. Your go-to is giving in and being mean to people when you’re stressed.

You thought you solved the problem by elbowing someone into submission, what you don’t realize is there are bigger bullies out there just waiting for the their next target. If you grow into a louder, angrier, meaner person every time you encounter someone abrasive or uncaring, you’ll grow callous and probably so much worse than every bully you’ve ever encountered.

Frankly I just don’t think it’s worth it.

In the short run, you may have gotten what you want but in the long run, you will have lost an amazing outlook in life and attitude towards people. You lost out because you changed the good in you to respond to the bad others show you.

 

 

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My ¬†little sister and I love taking pictures especially when we’re together. These are some of the photos we took while having this conversation.

with Kayle

 

healthy conversations

One of the many reasons why I love coming home is the amount of time we spend still sitting on our chairs around the table long after we finished breakfast.  I was raised by two academe-loving parents, with a dad that always encourages discourse so imagine how that translated to my extra curricular activities all through out school.

breakfast

Just this morning we started talking about the PDAF Scam, arguably the most embarrassing issue plaguing the ¬†Philippine Congress today.¬†We discussed facts, what we thought about them, where the government should go from here, how this issue affects legit foundations and so on. It’s a frustrating topic considering how much casually the accused are taking it and how fearful the witnesses are for their lives, WHAT A ROLE REVERSAL. Shouldn’t the crooks feel the least bit ashamed or distraught if not afraid? Shouldn’t the witnesses feel more relieved and hopeful? That’s clearly too much to ask in a society where thieves are put on pedestals while the rest of us look up to see their bum excreting billions of stolen money.¬†(See how hyped I get because of this? It’s almost funny.)

*calming down* Anyway, it’s reassuring to have people around you who you can discuss absolutely anything with and not feel as if you’re overstepping or acting like a total dork¬†(which I am, by the way).¬†I don’t know if many people have this with the their families or friends but if you do then you know how important it is to feel heard, to feel understood. Those long breakfast conversations may seem like boring routines we can get rid of but to me they’re boosts I need to get me through many more discouraging days.

So here’s to being heard and being understood.