Bad Listener

Are you a talker or a listener?”

If you ask me this question, I would immediately respond and say that “I am a talker,” without hesitation. Growing up, I was really, really, really talkative (and still am). I was known as “that kid who would keep on talking and talking.” However, being a talker is both a blessing and a curse. On one end, you get to talk and share your thoughts (and possibly bullshit your way through things) about basically almost everything, while on one end, there’s this fear of oversharing, and being labeled as the “all-talk, but no action” type of person, among other things.

If you would ask me, I think the greatest challenge of being a talker is being a good listener. Sure, there are people who can seamlessly talk up a storm and still be a great listening ear to others, but there are other people who would just rather talk than listen. They would just talk for hours and hours, and continuously try to assert what they know and feel about the world without giving utmost importance to the opinions and thoughts of the others, which makes them horrible at listening. I know that feeling, because I am exactly the type of person who would talk rather than listen. It has gotten me in trouble with other people numerous times. I recently got into a misunderstanding with two of my best friends because I was becoming more self-absorbed and disconnected from them. Because of that incident, I slowly realized that I was becoming more disconnected from the people I love, and the world that I’m in because I kept on trying to assert myself in a way that was alienating to people. It was like this: “me, me, me, and you shut up.”  Truth be told, I already have a hard time trying to relate to other people, and here I am alienating the people who want to be friends with me by being self-absorbed and not listening to whatever they have to say. To cut the long story short, I was channeling Hannah Horvath’s selfish ways. I was awful; and I didn’t become the listening ear that people needed during hard times.

Looking back at these experiences, I realized how listening is very crucial in one’s life. You listen to understand, and when you understand, you do better things. On the other hand, it’s okay to rebel and NOT to listen sometimes, but it is still important to listen to your surroundings, and be empathetic towards the people around you. If you ask me, I’m learning how to be more empathetic and less self-absorbed.

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