How To Write A One-Sided Phone Conversation In A Novel Are You REALLY Listening? Parallel Conversations

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Are You REALLY Listening? Parallel Conversations

ARE YOU LISTENING?

Most of us engage in PARALLEL conversations?

Example:

1st Speaker: I have a dog.

2nd Speaker: I have a dog too.

1st Speaker: My dog is a Border Collie.

2nd Speaker: My dog is a Shepherd.

1st Speaker: My dog is really smart like its owner.

2nd Speaker: My dog is considered the smartest breed.

This is a parallel conversation where two people could actually be on separate planets. There is an exchange of information without either speaker truly listening to the other. There is no connection within this conversation.

We have been programmed to try and convince people that “we know how they feel” in almost any situation. While the speaker is speaking, our computer mind does a file search to find a story that compares to what the speaker is saying, so that we can tell a similar story to the speaker. Then they will know that we “know how they feel”.

Unfortunately, don’t you think we’re missing out with this file search? We who communicate in parallel conversations are not actually listening while the other person is speaking. We are preparing what WE are going to say when the speaker takes a breath. We might even “finish” the speaker’s sentences because we believe we already know what they are going to say and we want our turn to speak.

Sometimes we even interrupt the speaker to tell OUR story.

An Example:

1st Speaker: How are you?

2nd Speaker: Oh. I’m tired today.

1st Speaker: Tired! You don’t know what tired is.

I’ve been so busy that I don’t have time to recognize how tired I am.

2nd Speaker: I went to the doctor… and…

1st Speaker: (Interrupts) Yea, I don’t have time to go to the doctor I’m so busy.

2nd Speaker: (Sighs). See you later.

We resign ourselves to the fact that the other person isn’t listening and we try to get away from the one-sided conversation that the person is having with him/herself.

Parallel conversations are boring. There isn’t a dialogue, rather each speaker is giving a monologue. Boredom creeps in and takes us over like a virus.

Not listening has become so automatic that it kills relationship without you even realizing it.

That is the reason that listening has been described as “the art of listening.”.

Are you willing to become an artist?

This is the million dollar question:

What is missing in parallel conversations?

What is missing is one of the most enlivening qualities of relationship… CURIOSITY! Albert Einstein says: The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity.

When we were children, our curiosity was insatiable. We asked “why” about almost everything. Our “whys” were frequently met with impatience and we heard a frazzled “because, or because I said so” rather than an answer to our question. Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t touch that. We were socialized to conform and stifle our natural aliveness.

So how can we recapture our curiosity?

It’s simple however it takes time and practice. How can we be willing to learn, relearn, and perhaps more importantly, UN-learn the automaticness of our programming? How can we practice the art of listening through developing curiosity?

What can curiosity do for our life? Curiosity can encourage the feeling of aliveness and make life an adventure. Curiosity can unleash our natural inquisitiveness about the mystery of life and inspire us to ask questions.

So how can we truly LISTEN? How can we allow curiosity to take the lead? Are we willing to ask questions? Are we willing to reacquaint ourselves with the best friends of curious people, what, when, why, who, where, and how?

So now, look through the lens of curiosity with our original conversation where curiosity reigns and relationship is nurtured.

1st Speaker: I have a dog.

2nd Speaker: Really? What kind of dog?

1st Speaker: My dog is a Border Collie.

2nd Speaker: That’s a cool breed. How old is s/he?

1st Speaker: She is 10.

2nd Speaker: Where does she stay, inside or outside?

1st Speaker: Oh, both. She sleeps inside but loves to be outside.

2nd Speaker: When did you get her?

1st Speaker: When she was only 8 weeks old.

2nd Speaker: Why did you choose a Border Collie?

1st Speaker: She was at an animal shelter and we fell in love with her. We didn’t really care about her breed. Do you have any animals?

Can you feel the curiosity, the presence, and the art of listening exemplified by the 2nd Speaker? This is building relationship in conversation rather than demanding self-centered attention.

Are you willing to give the gift of listening to your friends, to your family, to your colleagues, to the servers in a restaurant, to acquaintances that you meet in the grocery store, to YOURSELF?

When you nurture your curiosity, are you willing to feel more alive than you have ever felt? Are you willing to allow life to become a game? An adventure?

The art of listening is a gift that you can give to each person you meet during the holidays. Well, actually, you could give this gift each and every day to everyone including yourself.

Are you willing?

http://www.karenbethglunz.com

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