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Monday, September 14, 2015

Active Listening or How I Never Look at Her When She's Talking

We're out together. It's a nice, bright and sunny day. Maybe we're shopping or just on a quiet drive. My wife starts talking about her hobbies or her latest favorite show on Hulu. I can hear her fine. I listen. I just don't STARE INTO HER EYES!

I can repeat, nearly word-for-word, what she has said to me in the past few minutes. This irritates my wife to no end. If I don't look her in the eyes when she's talking, she says I'm not really listening to her. I am, though!

Then she often starts what I call her feedback rant. If I'm...

  • Not looking her in the eye.
  • Not replying to everything she says.
  • Not agreeing with her.
  • Not nodding my head along with her.
  • Not doing something else she thinks I should be doing.

Then I'm not actually listening to her.

Maybe this is a guy thing, or maybe it's just me. I'm not really sure. All I know is that I can multitask. I'm good at it. I do hear what you're saying, dear. Really. If I have nothing to say about it, that doesn't mean I don't care.


Okay, so most of the time, it does.

...

Just like she's not into the movies I like, the stories I read, or the YouTube videos I watch; I'm not INTO Arts & Crafts. I don't care that Adrian cheated on Paul! No, that lady didn't cut you off; she was 30 feet away!

Still, I work at Active Listening, now. I try (really, I do) to always acknowledge her when she's speaking. If it saves me from another long-winded rant, I'm all for it. I may like poking the bear every once and a while, but even I know when to back off.

Okay, dudes, take my advice: If your wife likes things that you don't; keep it to yourself. Say, 'Yes, dear.', 'No, dear.', nod your head, and laugh at the appropriate time. And, remember, her eyes are about a foot up from where you're looking.


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