When was the last time you felt listened to? I mean really listened to. Somebody looked you dead in the eye and took in what you were saying without interjecting, making the conversation about them, or without a cell phone in hand? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s been a while. I hadn’t realized just how long until this week.
The brain is funny in that is has to receive information and dissect it so we can appropriately respond to what the other person is saying. As a result, most conversations end up being the listener taking in necessary bits of information to get the general gist, and then using the bulk of the brain processing time to create a response. Mind you, this is without other distractions that can pull our focus and attention. If we took out the part where we are expected to respond, think about how much more we’d be able to hear. This is the practice of mindful listening.