i’m starting to think i’m a bad listener

A few Saturday’s ago, I was sitting in a comfy chair, reading “smut magazines” – as Tim calls them – I like to think of People and Us as juciy gossip…but whatever…waiting for Tim to get his haircut.

And I tuned into his conversation with Deanna, the hairstylist, and realized they were deeply engaged in conversation. Work stuff…things I hear about all the time…except…she was asking all sorts of follow-up questions and making comments about things that never even CROSSED MY MIND.

He was loving it.

Am I too close to everything to be THAT engaged in his work life? I’m starting to think I’m losing my touch. It seems I’m always off somewhere else in my head…thinking about what needs to be done or what is on my list of to do’s or if Maddie’s had dinner…

I shouldn’t do that.

I should listen, dammit.

Communication is only like, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN A MARRIAGE.


20 Responses to “i’m starting to think i’m a bad listener”

  1. 1 Lanessa September 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Welcome to the club. I’m not yet married but I have a fairly good idea of what you’re talking about. My boyfriend had a girlfriend when we were still just work buddies and he could not complain enough about how she never seemed to listen even if they talk for hours on the phone(long distance relationship). Eventually they broke up and I’ve kept in mind those complaints. c”,)

  2. 2 lifestartsnow September 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    isn’t it a hairdressers job to listen? you know, to make the client feel comfortable, to make him enjoy the whole experience.

    don’t feel bad for not asking back the questions she asked! now you noticed, and you can improve.


    • 3 Jessica September 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

      franzi: true – that IS part of her job…but it just made me realize that I don’t listen the same way I used to when our relationship was still “budding.” kind of an internal “wow. I’ve changed.”

  3. 4 Breeza September 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I agree with Franzi. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

  4. 6 Amanda September 5, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    You got that right!! Great way to put things into perspective!


  5. 8 Sarah September 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I found myself getting distracted while my husband was talking, so lately I’ve been trying to stop everything else I’m doing, listen, and respond or offer feedback. It definitely makes for better conversation, and I think he’s more likely to continue telling me things if I pay better attention and respond thoughtfully. Hopefully it’ll mean that when we’re 80 and sitting around all day we’ll still have great, meaningful conversations :).

    • 9 Jessica September 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm

      Sarah: that’s a great way to approach it. I surely want Tim and I to carry on meaningful conversation when we’re old and talking is all it takes to tire us out. It would mean so much more if that “talking” was more than just, “uh huh” and “yeah.”

  6. 10 heatherslalaland September 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I too often get distracted when talking to hubby, but we are very happy together and have been for 19 years, so I can’t be doing too badly. He often says, sometimes you don’t hear a word I say, and he’s right, but it’s about stupid things. I hear the important things. Sometimes we are caught up in our own heads and forget, but then so are they, so don’t worry too much. Anyway, as Franzi pointed out, it’s a hairdressers job to talk to the client. They have to ask questions, even though they probably aren’t all that interested, but have to appear so, but if you feel you are neglecting hubby, listen to that, and do something about it. At least you noticed!

    • 11 Jessica September 5, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      Heather: (nice to see you!! How are things? :))

      And – you’re right. Sometimes I’ll be like, “don’t you REMEMBER?! I just told you…” and he’s got no idea. But, I certainly don’t want him to start going somewhere else for conversation because I get too caught up in my own brain. I’m working on it, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 12 Buckeroomama September 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    My FIL (!) always, always gives me this advice: My life should not be all about the children and running the house… that I should make time for the hubby, too.

    Sometimes it is all too easy to get too wrapped up in the children and in the running of the house that we take hubby for granted. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 14 Mindy September 6, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Nah…listening is way overrated. In fact, I’m quite sure that if I listened to EVERYTHING that my husband said we’d be divorced by now. I think tuning out is probably what has made my marriage so successful. =)

    • 15 Jessica September 6, 2009 at 7:07 am

      Mindy: I never really thought of it that way – but I think you may very well have a great point. One I’m going to have to remember as the marriage years tick by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 16 Brooke September 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I’m the same way. I feel like I pretty much know what my fiance is going to say, before he says it. He might feel like I’m not listening sometimes, but I feel like he repeats himself a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I guess it is even! On another note, I’m pretty sure hairstylists have the best gossip.

    • 17 Jessica September 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm

      Brooke: I could never be a hairstylist…I’m not good at the “small talk” ….plus I have a hard enough time doing my own hair….

      When’s the big date, anyway? How’s the planning going?

  10. 18 Daphne September 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I’ve been working on listening, too. I definitely have an internal monologue going in my head most of the time. I’m listening to myself more, and trying to catch myself before I interject myself into something Donald is telling me.

    The turning point was when Donald was sharing some very personal insights and thoughts and I rocketed into the conversation, turned it into something about me and my own experiences, and completely shut him down. When I stopped and realized what I had done, I was so embarassed.

    Listening is about showing the other person that your conversation with them is the most important thing you could be doing at that moment.

    • 19 Jessica September 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm

      Daphne: Wow – that definitely would make me feel AWFUL…but certainly is a lesson not to forget…

      You’re so right about what good listening is supposed to be – giving 100% of your time and attention to what they’re saying at that moment.

  1. 1 the answers…don’t you want them? « booshy Trackback on September 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

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