How many times have you heard that men don’t listen to problems, they just try to fix them? I think men are getting a bad rap. In my experience (as a fixer, listener, and sharer), everyone tries to come up with a solution. Or they add to your initial words by saying, “oh yeah, my aunt Hortense has that same problem, and she did…” , thus putting you in the position of listening to someone else’s story rather than answering the question about yourself.
Everybody means well. But I think we have lost the practice of really listening to each other. If you think back to recent conversations, I’ll bet you can remember occasions when you were just waiting for the speaker to stop so that you could speak. Sometimes we even jump in to finish the other person’s sentence, or begin our own perspective, before the other person has even finished. Not nice.
I found out that I can be a bad listener when my couples’ bible study was talking about communication in marriage. Joe said something, and the others asked me what I thought. I had to say, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening!”
“How are things going?” I’ve found that most people really only want to hear the short answer, so we respond with, “We’re just hanging on to God”. Many people don’t ask a followup question. But if you ask ME how I’m doing, won’t you stop and listen to my answer?