You might not think that moving requires a lot of listening, but it does. To start with, there’s the listening to lawyers and bankers, inspectors and appraisers, real estate
Perhaps the Chinese understand the importance of listening more readily than those of other cultures.
agents, and finally, the buyer. That’s just to facilitate the property transfer. Then there’s moving agents and workmen to get everything packed and loaded, and then stored.
Listening is exhausting and at times overwhelming.
I hoped to have an interesting conversation a few weeks ago with a person I did not know well. She made a claim that caught my attention because it challenged what I know. My thought was, aha, this is an opportunity to get to know her better. This is an opportunity to gain a new friend.
Through conversation, we gain new relationships by exploring new ideas and discovering how they complement, expand, or even change, our beliefs.
We all love to talk. Conversation – the mutual interchange of ideas – is one of the most pleasant experiences we have. Conversation binds us together in new relationships and keeps our existing relationships strong. We confirm we belong when we find common ground and we stretch ourselves when we are open to hearing contrary ideas.
I’ve been asked, “Can’t you take a joke?” more than a few times, and I bet you have too. Ever notice how it is always after someone has said something that is offensive and disrespectful?
Does the question leave you speechless the way it does me?
Do we take the time to sit down and listen to ourselves and understand how our words are heard by others? Or do we believe our words to be empty and meaningless and therefore, unimportant?
It’s a lame attempt to cover up for a rude statement by shifting responsibility from the speaker to the listener. The original statement and the ‘joke’ question that follows are disrespectful behavior. They take away from our intimacy and enjoyment of each other.
I have an answer to that question. My answer puts responsibility back where it belongs. Even better, it allows me to maintain my self-respect and show respect for others.
Here’s a hint: it’s not a smart-mouthed comeback.