Friday, September 25, 2009

Shut Up

When Ted Kennedy passed away, I remember a Republican senator saying that when he once called Ted in the hospital, Ted immediately asked him how his sick grandson was doing. The senator said that Ted was always like that, asking how others were doing instead of talking about himself.


I wish I was more like that. Often times when I am talking to people, I am thinking of my experience and how it relates. Instead of being 100% there, I am in my own little world. In graduate school, my advisor would give me 100% of her attention. She was so attentive that I was distracted. I kept thinking "How does she do this?" She was a young mother of small children. And now that I have my own and I am so tired, I really admire that she was full time faculty, finishing her Ph.D., had children and cared what I had to say every week.


We all know bad listeners. The person that talk AT you not with you. The person that has to "one-up" you every time she talks to you. The person that talks too much and doesn't give others the chance to talk. The person that cuts you off mid-sentence. I do that to a good friend of mine every time we talk. I know I do it. I try not to. I am not sure why I do it to her more than to other friends. Maybe her stories are long. I don't know. I am working on keeping my mouth shut.


In Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth, he talks about being present with others. Be with them when they speak. Be in the moment. It is my new goal. I will ask more questions and be engaged. I will talk less. I will be present. It is definitely a skill that I was born without. But one skill that I must learn.

6 comments:

AreWeThereYet? said...

Well said. We all can take a lesson on this skill. My husband says it this way -- Be Here Now.

OHmommy said...

Nice... a good reminder to everyone. I often do this with my middle child, because man oh man does she TALK. Im never completely listening to her. I should though.

Kel said...

I read that book last year and loved it, but sadly have forgotten many of the 'lessons' I worked on then, since they are no longer the forefront of my mind. I'm talker by nature...I definitely need to work on this.
~K

Chayce's Momma said...

I am exactly like this as well. I always have to have a story about myself that relates to the story I'm being told. I'm trying to work on it as well. It's a lot easier said than done!

amyjr said...

I know what you mean. I try to listen but other noise gets in the way. When you wear hearing aids the whole room is aplified not just the person you are conversing with and boy o boy do I get tired after a long day. Thanks for reminding me to be PRESENT.

MIT Mommy said...

Guilty. Well said.

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