Listening, real listening, can be hard work. Often, we are expected to listen to another person speak when our minds are already deep in thought about something else. Switching thought gears instantly from one topic to another isn’t easy.
Then there is the matter of being convinced by prior exchanges with another that they have rarely had anything to say that was worth the time required to listen. These are folks who seem to be stuck on the same subject or just babble on about nothing every time we have listened in the past.
However, the most difficult listening challenge often occurs when another person holds views on a topic that conflict with our own. For example, if they speak in support of one political candidate and we support another, listening can become an exercise in self-control. It is as though the temperature in the room moves from cool and comfortable to hot and uncomfortable. When that happens, anger has replaced listening.
As is often the case in these brief ramblings, I admit to having experience with personal listening challenges. I also recognize them in others when they are clearly not hearing me. Shall we all just agree that we will work at being better listeners?