It’s Not All About You…So Just Shut Up and Listen

How many times has your Romeo or Juliet tried to talk to you about something, but later you can’t quite remember what they said? Might have been important, might not have been…you don’t have a clue. Yet instead of saying, “Honey, I’m sorry. I was distracted. Could you tell me again?” you just shrug your shoulders and go about your business. Clearly you made all the right responses, so they didn’t notice. Right?

Wrong! Just because they didn’t call you on it, doesn’t mean they didn’t notice.

You’ve been there. Heck, we’ve all been there. Really needing to talk to someone, to be reassured…or just to share something we’re excited about…only to be blown off. Usually not blatantly, but you can tell. You can always tell. Whoever you turned to isn’t giving you their full attention.

Really dig deep here. Be honest. How did that make you feel? I’m guessing not very good. Now hold onto that feeling…and think about how many times you’ve blown off the things your mate has tried to tell you. How do you think that makes them feel?

Really listen to the words of this song. Consider it homework, a skill you can apply when your better half needs you to hear him/her. Do you know what Romeo or Juliet’s dreams are? What scares them? What makes them cry? When they try to share those things with you, do you hear them?

Romance gone? Passion non-existent? Try shutting your mouth and opening your ears.

Do you want a roommate? Or do you want a partner, lover and a best friend?

If you chose partner, lover and friend, congratulations. There’s hope for you and your relationship. Start listening…really listening. Try what the experts recommend. Paraphrase what you think you heard your mate say. This not only proves you were paying attention, it allows him/her to clarify what they meant if you misunderstood (or they weren’t clear enough).

After you know you’ve heard what they said, the only other thing you can do is show that you care. Sometimes all it requires is a hug. Or a pat on the back, if what they’ve shared is good (though the hug would still be appropriate here). Other times you might have to admit that you don’t know what to do or say, and ask what they need from you. This last thing might annoy some people, but most will just be touched that you cared enough to hear them, and that you want to do whatever you can to make them feel better.

For the record, listening is very romantic. Achieving intimacy with someone is a whole lot easier when the couple is emotionally close. And you can’t be emotionally close if you don’t know them. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You can’t be emotionally close unless you talk…and listen.

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If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:

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17 Responses to It’s Not All About You…So Just Shut Up and Listen

  1. I love this post. I think we’re all guilty of going on autopilot sometimes. I know I am. Usually it’s when I’m tired, or feel like I just can’t handle one more thing, or when it’s interrupting something else important. But those are just excuses, and if I expect others to genuinely listen to me regardless of the outside circumstances, I need to give the same consideration to them.

    • Thanks, Marcy. We’re all guilty of this at times, and I don’t think there’s a whole lot we can do about it. For example, I tend to zone out when my son comes out, thrilled about something that happened in the video game he’s playing. I really try to pay attention…but more often than not…I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about, so I nod, smile…and thing about something else.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s totally horrible to not give conversations like that your full attention. Or something you’ve heard a zillion times before-and pretty much know by heart (because the speaker has talked about it…or complained about it…so much you could recite it in your sleep).

      It’s all of the other stuff we need to work on giving our undivided attention to. 🙂

  2. Karen McFarland says:

    Hey there Kristy! You did post more than once this week and I had family visiting. They just left today. Now I’m playing catch-up and I’m exhausted girl. Anyway, I liked mj monaghan’s comment, “The wise guy in me keeps wanting to type, “Did you say something, Kristy?” LOL! He stole my comment! And my goodness Gigi Ann, 54 years? Wow, I feel like a newlywed now. I have actually heard it said that listening is an art. That you can hear, but you may not always listen. When we listen to the other person, regardless of who they are, is it not a form of respect? When we tune them out, in actuality we’re saying that the other person and what they have to say is not as important as we are. It’s really a sign of selfishness. But we’re all guilty of it in one form or another. Thanks for the reminder Kristy! 🙂

    • Hi, Karen! Gotta love family visiting…except for the whole catch up thing. I took the weekend off and will be doing the same thing…because I was exhausted from a busy couple of weeks…so I can understand where you’re coming from.

      LOL about the stolen comment…and yes…54 years is amazing, isn’t it? I have to say that I’m very impressed with Gigi Ann and her husband.

      I agree with you completely about the whole listening thing. I’m terrible about it. It’s like my mind is constantly thinking about something. When the kids want to talk to me, sometimes it’s hard to shut the thoughts off, so I wind up having to look at them, close my eyes, and just focus on their words.

      It’s a weird way to concentrate on what they’re saying, but sometimes it’s the only thing that works (depending on what’s going on)…and they’re used to it by now. They prefer seeing Mom sitting with her eyes closed, than me asking them to repeat what they’ve said two dozen times. I’ve actually had to seek them out because I’ll realize I’ve had a conversation with them…and no clue what we talked about. Yikes! 🙂

  3. Gigi Ann says:

    We were married 54 years ago on July 3rd, 2012. And I still hear myself saying, you’re not listening. When he says he was, I say, What did I just say? And believe it or not, he almost always knows what I said. Go figure…

    Thanks for the visit to “My Reading Corner” today, and the encouraging comment… And to answer your question… Yes, the header is “My ‘Real’ Reading Corner.” We live in a small apartment, so I have to make use of every nook and cranny in the room.

    • Well Happy Belated Anniversary! Wow! YOU should be the one giving out relationship advice. Fifty-four years! THAT is impressive. And how cool that your husband does listen…most of the time. 🙂

      Thank you for the very nice review of A Hero For Holly.

      Small or not, I love your little reading nook. My office is probably 6 or 7 feet wide by about 12 feet long, is packed with a huge desk, two shelves and small armoire. But I really would like to try to set up one corner similar to what you have. With a recliner. Though if I can pull it off, I might spend more time napping than reading for a while.

      Thanks for stopping by, Gigi Ann!

  4. mj monaghan says:

    The wise guy in me keeps wanting to type, “Did you say something, Kristy?” 🙂

    Okay, I’ll get serious. You’re very right about listening and it drawing people together emotionally. I have had this problem for quite some time. Mainly, it goes back to how stressful work has been, and how focused my listening has had to be at work. Because of this, it’s SO much harder to focus at the end of the day. But I do realize how beneficial it is.

    I love the song you attached. It’s perfect.

    • You may note, from the first part of my comment on your body part post…I tend to be the female counterpart to the wise guy. I tend to have a smart mouth, and a sarcastic sense of humor, so I don’t mind at all that others do, too. 🙂

      No one is going to be able to be 100% there in 100% of the conversations they participate in. Especially when there’s something going on like you’re dealing with right now. I probably should have clarified that under ‘normal’ circumstances, people need to try harder to listen. 🙂

      I love that song, too. It’s been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it. 🙂

      • mj monaghan says:

        I did sense that you are a fan of sarcasm – might be why I liked your blog immediately. 🙂

        But you also have a contemplative, thoughtful side to balance it out. I like this series you’ve been doing.

        • Thanks, MJ. I’ve been trying for nearly a year to find my focus, and now that I have, I’m kind of nervous. No, I’m a lot nervous. But I’ll be sticking with it for at least a while.

          And I think that may be why I like your blog, too. Sarcasm is one of my favorite forms of humor. In fact, my hero in the comedy department is Bob Newhart. I love that guy. 🙂

  5. Debra Kristi says:

    Listening is essential in any relationship. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Glad to help, Debra. And you’re right about ‘any’ relationship. I know I’ve got so much going on in my head that I don’t hear a lot sometimes. LOL…and I hate it when I say, “You, too,” to cashiers and greeters, only to realize about a second too late that they did NOT say, “Have a good evening.” Nope. They might have said, “Come back soon.” (or another example I just can’t come up with at the moment).

      Yup, I definitely have to work on my listening skills. 🙂

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