Friday, May 04, 2007

Hören Sie zu!

Kat's comment on my "I scream" post made me think. She reminded me of a line from Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman's character asks John Travolta's character, "Do you listen, or wait to talk?" John Travolta's response was, "I wait to talk, but I'm trying to listen."

I'd like to think that I listen. I want to believe that I can be quiet long enough to hear a person through on something without hopping around like a little kid who has to go to the bathroom just waiting to interject my opinion.
Sometimes all I want to do is listen. Meetings for example. I prefer to sit there soaking in everything that is being said, letting my brain take a mini-vacation. But inevitably, someone will ask me what I think. Nine times out of ten an honest answer to that question would be, "I think I'd like to be anywhere but in this meeting." But the nature of meetings is that people don't think you are making an effort to be engaged unless you are participating. So I am forced to say something on topic and rely on the fact that most of the people at the table aren't listening anyway.
So maybe not a good example of the advantages of listening. Let's see, I like to listen to stand up comedians. But that is more of a matter of survival. Talking instead listening to a comedian is usually met with swift retrobution like being pointed out and having the comedian say, "I was going to do my impression of an asshole, but this man beat me to it." Okay so this only happened to me once.
I'm beginning to think maybe I'm not as much of a listener as I would like to be. Part of the problem is that I don't have much patience for jibberastic people (someone who speaks in tongues and or in such a way that can not be comprehended). So when I hear something that is so obviously uttered by a jibbering blue-assed baboon I find it difficult just to sit there and nod in agreement. Because if you agree with a jibbering blue-assed baboon, doesn't that make you a jibbering blue-assed baboon as well?

That was a rhetorical question.

Okay, now I wish I was a better listener. I wish I could be patient and nod in all of the right places and give those sympathetic looks that encourage people to continue. I wish I wasn't thinking about whether or not I locked the front door or the price of gas or how many more years I have until retirement when people are pouring out their guts to me. I wish I could ask someone for directions and actually remember them the minute they are done. I wish I could watch television, type on my blog, and talk on the phone at the same time.
Most of all I just wish those voices in my head would stop.
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