At times I am the worst of listeners.
There’s a Vogt family joke that somebody needs to make me a T-shirt with this statement printed across the back: If you can read this, then I can’t hear you.
My responsibility? To wear this one-of-a-kind T-shirt whenever I’m seated at my desk, writing. Hhhhmmmm. I’m going to need more than one of these T-shirts.
At times, my family jokes about how I’ll look up from my computer and ask, “Were you talking to me?” But behind the laughter, there is often a hint of hurt … even frustration.
I let it happen again. Pulled by the demand of something else (usually writing), I didn’t listen to my husband. Or one of my daughters. Or my son. And not listening can equal not caring. Or at least caring about something else more than whoever was talking to me.
I tell my family that they are more important than my writing — but do I prove it to them? Not always. I love my kiddos all the time … but sometimes I let other things — like a deadline — interfere with a truth I want to tuck deep into their hearts: I love you.
The one thing I’ve learned is that listening — really listening so that I hear what someone is saying — requires more than using my ears. I have to use my eyes too. I have to turn away from my desk or shut my laptop and make eye-to-eye contact with the person who is talking to me. It’s a deliberate action that shows them they’ve got my undivided attention because they are important to me.
In Your Words: What keeps your from listening to others? What helps you be a loving listener?
What keeps you from listening to others? Click to Tweet
What helps you be a loving listener? Click to Tweet