When you ask a question do you listen for the answer?


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Earless Potato head
He doesn’t hear you…

 

Do you say what you mean or mean what you say? Do you communicate with agenda or authenticity? What are your intentions? Do you start a dialogue with someone with an intention or agenda? When you ask a question do you listen for the answer? If you are not listening for the answer are you even hearing the question? Do most of your communications with people happen out of habit? Do you think before you speak?

These are all things I really started contemplating last week. Our communication…my communication where are we effective and ineffective.

I don’t believe it is possible to be the perfect communicator at all times…would it be great, yes.  Realistic, I don’t believe it is possible.  One of the things I really try to maintain in my blog  is being honest.  Even when being honest is not easy.  Just as I am human, we are all human.  I am reminded everyday that I am living a clairvoyant life, not a spirit life.  I am in all my glory, human and to error is to be human.

Maybe it was Mercury’s recent retrograde that got me thinking about communication, how we do it, and our thoughts behind it.  I remember this teacher I had in 7th grade…she asked a few of us in class one day how we were.  A lot of people responded with the normal, fine thanks how are you.  Not a big deal or story right??? Well, actually it is a really good story.  Stop and think for a minute…if someones in passing says to you “Hi, How are you doing?   What do you do?

Do you stop and look at them and say “Hi (so and so) I am doing really good, How are you doing?” or do you say, “Fine thanks, how are you?” Either response is really nice and politely sufficient, wouldn’t you say so?  What is the difference?  Well the only difference is in your awareness of the question and intent in answering.  Meaning, are you responding out of pure habit, or are you slowing down and processing the question and answering honestly?

The majority in the class responded out of habit.  the standard, fine thanks how are you.  Where as soon as we have finished uttering the word “you”… we have moved on and past the encounter, not pausing for even an answer.  She asked us all to test it.  Go out and ask the question to others, and see how they respond.  She also took it a step farther and asked us to respond non traditionally when we were asked how we were…either pause and really think before saying “fine” or say something different all together.  See how many people even notice what you say in your response.  The results were actually quite sad.  I blame, and thank  that teacher on the beginnings of my so-called awareness.

Now this test was in the late 70’s for me…but I think you could do it now with unfortunately similar findings.

About five years ago I used to work with someone who would get so annoyed with me for not asking them back how they were in this salutation.  They would see me…and say “Hi Jackie, How are you today”.  I would say “Hi Scott, I am fabulous (or sometimes Great, I would pick a letter and go with it that day) thanks” and I would continue on.  He would always respond with “I am fine too, thanks for asking”.  the thing was… I would never say I am fine, or ask him how he was.   That is what he would hear because he was never listening.  I would chuckle and be on my way. Granted I should have left it alone…but it was so obvious he was not paying attention and not being authentic.  Eventually he noticed and it really bothered him and I should have played the game and said what your supposed to say, but I didn’t.  The thing about this exchange with my coworker was it was all about ego to him.  He would make this grand statement and hello in earshot of others.  He had something to prove and I was just not the one to play along.    I learned that one afternoon in 7th grade that we can and should be polite but we should also not say things just to say them.  If I am truly wanting to know how you are I will ask you and I will listen.  I forget that I am expected to ask, out of simple courtesy .. but I believe that in the end it isn’t courteous it is rude (especially if I am not going to really listen to your answer).

In the situation above between my coworker and I, finally one day when we went through our daily routine, I responded with “that’s great Scott, but I learned a long time ago that when someone really wants to know they will not only ask, but listen”.  He got the message and we no longer had to play the game.

This example is specific, but really it affects all of our communications.  When we say I am sorry… are we saying it to just say it? Have you ever listened or counted how many times you say it, in a day?  Do you over say it?  Are you sorry when, in all reality whatever you are sorry about has nothing to even do with you?  In one day how many times do you say you are sorry?  For some of us we may be amazed at how often we are sorry.  Does the universe hear this as a mantra?  I am not saying stop apologizing… I am saying bring your awareness back into your apology, your sympathy.  Mean it.  And really if you are apologizing that much in a single day…maybe there are other things you should be looking at within yourself.

Now that Mercury is out of retrograde, I thought a good blog on communication was in order.  Something to talk about how we seem to lose sight in our authenticity in social settings.  We fall into programmed behavior that started with good intent and purpose, but has lost it intentions.  We need to honor our communication.  Be true to what you say and speak from your heart. Time moves much to quickly to not take the time to slow down and engage with people. Especially in the age of such technology.   Being honest about your intentions, and keeping your communications powered through our heart center (Chakra) will keep us from manipulating others or situations.  

This week focus on being aware of your communications, check yourself and check how others communicate with you (are they listening…really listening or thinking about what they are going to say next?).  What I once thought was a simple class project became so much more.  It taught me to be aware of what I am saying and how I am responding.  I may not always remember it, but…hey I am human remember.  This really was a great experience in awareness.

I cannot remember this teachers name…really wish I did.  She taught my 7th grade creative writing class…she encouraged writing and spoke candidly of her faults.  She is also the same teacher that gave the class a lesson on personal boundaries (which I have written about previously) she left a wonderful impression on me.  This is something we all need to remember and be aware of…we leave impressions on people…we never know really what we do that will leave the impression, or when it will happen.  Just know that it does, and we do.  When you live from your heart you know the impression you leave will be a good one.  Have a beautiful week!

Namaste~

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4 thoughts on “When you ask a question do you listen for the answer?

  1. Good points! I have a coworker who greets and asks how you are so cheerfully in the morning. I thought how wonderful he was until I realize that this was an automatic thing for him. Before I have time to respond, he was already totally buried in the newspaper and not at all interested in how I was. What a letdown! 😦

    • Unfortunately it is an automatic response for so many… when we become aware of this, what we need to do now is be aware of our own automatics. 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!! Hope you have a great Monday!!
      Namaste~

  2. Pingback: What If….. Wednesday #2 | The Ranting Papizilla

  3. You are SOooooo right! I do not ask any one any more how they are, Then they don’t have to ask me in automatic response How are You?… when they are already 20 feet ahead before I can reply! Ha! Most of the time I answer with ” just Fine”….Knowing they really don’t care any way! and its just a polite thing they think they have to ask. Love the story about your co-worker…At least he finnally recognized your non response. Most would not have.

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