Listen Before You Speak

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I’ve come to terms with truly respecting how important, and rather beautiful it is to listen.

There is such substance to gain in how much you can really engage your mind when you are listening to what’s being said in real time.

More often than not I would’ve liked to categorize myself as a “good listener.”

In school and at home I always listened to instructions and the details of what I was being told.

When I’m talking to my friends on the phone and they’re sharing their words with me, I’d like to think that I am being attentive and listening as well…

But here’s the truth behind that in which makes me actually a bad listener..

I’m almost always thinking of a reply before they’re even done talking.

Yes.
Believe it or not, that does make me, and you if you do it too, a bad listener.
Truth be told, you aren’t really listening.
You’re in wait to give a pre-meditated answer before the question or statement is even done being announced.

Honestly, I only have a handful of friends who are actually really good listeners; who think before they speak, processing the idea before they say aloud their understanding. And now, to this very day I value them so much.

I’ve never really taken the time, besides the cliché of a simple superficiality, in a moment of true retrospect with the initiative to think, “man, listening is probably equal to, if not more important than the words being said.”

Today, I sat at a table with much older adults for lunch, and instead of adding my two cents to the conversation like I usually do; to try and place myself somewhere in rank within the conversation, I just listened.

I can promise you that I learned a lot more being in silence and remaining sincerely attentive to the words being spoken, than I would have if I tried to emphasize how much knowledge I had on the subject matter.

Having “the gift of gab,” as my parents would like to call it, (The nice way of saying you talk too much) has its disadvantages in terms of listening. Because you’re always waiting to pounce at the opportunity to talk; prove yourself, and show what you know.

But you know what’s also very important?
Balance.

After-all, the saying goes, “a wise man is quick to listen, and slow to speak.”

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