Are you genuinely listening or just waiting to talk? There’s a difference.
I can’t recall where I first heard this phrase; it was a few years ago, maybe from my best friend. Nevertheless, it has stuck with me all these years. I used to have a former relative in my life who was always “waiting to talk.” It would infuriate me. Fortunately, I no longer have to listen to this person. They were the type of individual who appeared to be listening, but you could tell they weren’t truly engaged. They were simply waiting for a pause in the conversation so THEY could talk, steering the discussion back to themselves. I hated it.
Many years ago, I made a conscious decision to never forget this quote, and since then, I have been actively observing my actions and words when someone else is speaking.
I believe I have learned a lot from this self-reflection. Recently, I have found myself in many conversations where I quiet that inner monologue in my head. Usually, I am preoccupied with what’s coming next or what I need to accomplish.
However, I have come to realise that by calming myself and truly listening, I am building better friendships and relationships, rather than rushing on to the next thing. It feels good, and I believe it has been appreciated.
It’s such a simple concept, yet so impactful. I have also been paying attention to how others wait to talk, and now that I am more aware of it, it has become strikingly noticeable.