Unplug, unclog, and try to understand.

Don’t speak.

I know it sounds strange, but take a second and digest everything around you. If you are talking to someone, focus on them. Do not try to give input, do not try to talk over them, and just listen. Enjoy the sounds around you; enjoy hearing someone else’s opinion. We tend to live in our heads, tend to think we are right, and tend to think that our thoughts are the only ones that matter. The question is, how can you learn if you are not willing to listen?

We rush around in our everyday life and what we tend to hear what sounds like the words coming out of Charlie Brown’s teacher’s mouth. Blah, Blah, Blah. Why does what someone else say matter? We have so many other responsibilities, so many other aspects of our lives that are more important…right? Wrong. As we start to live in our head, we lose touch with reality. We become separated from our peers and grow distant. In order to grow, we need each other. In order to learn, we need each other. In order to prosper, we need each other.

So, during your next conversation take a second and just stop. Stop living in your head and make eye contact with the person you are talking to. Take out your headphones, get out of your head, and take a deep breath.

Unplug, unclog, and try to understand. It won’t kill you, I promise.


4 thoughts on “Unplug, unclog, and try to understand.

  1. I love this idea. Half the time when people try to talk to me I’ve got my headphones in, and whenever my friends and I are in a big group we are CONSTANTLY talking over each other.

  2. I think I coined the following: “The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened.”

    Still, HOW can we listen better? Beyond admonishing us to?

  3. I like that this is such that we can all do every day to (hopefully) connect more with reality. I think that the difference between just sitting there pretending to listen is so different than actually listening with empathy to whatever it is you’d like to connect with (be it a person, nature, etc.). In our society, people definitely have trouble with the latter. It’s awesome that you differentiated the two in your proposal.

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