“This one time at band camp, my story was better, funnier and more relatable than yours.”
Yes. I am one of those people, who, instead of listening to you share your story, frantically spend the time you take telling it to think of something similar that I have experienced and then nod impatiently for you to finish so I can share mine.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t listen the insights, the humour, the indignation, the laughs, the emotions or anything else you are sharing about your experience. I’m rude, and it stops here. I’m sorry.
So what brought about the change? Why do I suddenly care? Well, at heart, I’m actually quite a nice chap, and I’m both empathetic and sympathetic, with a whole load of compassion thrown in. You could call me a natural empath. I feel things. I notice things. I feel attitudes and atmosphere and vibes, almost like they were properly tangible things. And I’ve been noticing that when I jump in right after you have shared your story that your eyes go dead and your smile fades. I can almost hear that inner monologue of yours, saying “Dammit, Dave! Did you even HEAR what I said? Why must this ALWAYS, ALWAYS be about YOU? Other people have moments too, you know!”
Don’t tell me that’s not what you’re thinking. I see it. I see it written on your face, so if you say you’re not thinking this, you should sue your face for telling lies. And poker is not a game you should consider playing. Ever.
So. From now on, I am going to listen when you talk. I will focus on what you are saying, and share in the moment you are reliving. I will be a listener. A good one.
And just for the record? I’ve never even been to band camp.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Image by Kevin Curtis at unsplash free images.
This blog is part of a weekly tandem blogging exercise I do with Mandy Collins. Read Mandy’s blog here.