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Season 2/Episode 18: Is Anybody Listening?

In All Seriousness

Hearing vs. Listening

In this week’s episode, Jill and Tony debate whether it’s realistic to expect your partner to listen to you 100 percent of the time.

Jill believes that everyone can be better listeners.

Tony says it’s unrealistic to expect someone to stop what they are thinking or doing to listen to you 100 percent of the time.

He told listeners to just “zip it” if they are trying to be a better listener. Know when to speak.

Jill said that if you find that people have to keep repeating things to you, then admit that you’re not listening. Do better next time.

They both have more suggestions:

  • Understand that if your partner perceives that you aren’t listening to him/her/they, then you aren’t listening. At least try to change your behavior.
  • If you ask questions, wait for and listen to the answers. Don’t be the person that asks questions and tunes out the response.
  • If you have no desire to talk to your partner, recognize that you’re in the wrong relationship. Communication is an essential ingredient to any good and lasting relationship.

Who is the best listener in your relationship? Are you a good listener? Tell us your answers in the comments section.

Thanks for listening.

7 comments on “Season 2/Episode 18: Is Anybody Listening?

  1. Mary Ellen Vogel says:

    Years ago I heard an interview with Jamie Lee Curtis who said that we as women need girlfriends to talk to because our husbands don’t want to hear about certain things. She said know (correct form) they love us, so don’t make them listen to it. That has stuck with me because I don’t believe a couple—regardless of how close—can be interested in everything the other has to say.

    I think that in our loooong marriage both Denis and I have missed clues about each other. Sometimes it has been because we didn’t want whatever it was to be true and sometimes because we were just kids. People learn about life and each other through experience . . . if they are introspective and want to, that is.

    Denis has some interesting and amusing—I think—points to share. Stay tuned.

    1. @jillccwrites2 says:

      Yes, excellent point about women needing girlfriends to talk to. Tony and I both agree. In fact, Tony now sees why i can easily have a 4-5 hour dinner with girlfriends, back when we could dine out together.

  2. Mary Ellen Vogel says:

    Oh–to answer your question–I’m the better listener in our relationship.

  3. Denis V. says:

    Tony, you talked about the husband surprised by his wife’s departure (but no one else was). His problem might have been selective perception…a great defense mechanism that prevents a person having to deal with messages that would otherwise cause discomfort.

    A good way to prevent this is active listening. Using active listening, the listener constructs replies that reflect what the speaker is attempting to communicate. But this takes effort on the part of someone who may not really want to hear the message and gives the speaker no control over the situation.

    My solution to this conundrum is my discovery “Controlled Listening” (CL). In CL the speaker (sender) takes control of the listener’s (receiver’s) listening with a simple but effective device. When the sender has an idea that they want to be clearly heard and fully understood by the receiver, they preface the communication with the following words:

    “The most (brilliant/intelligent/insightful/etc.) thing YOU ever said to ME was…”.

    Yes, this is my discovery and contribution to human society. No, there is not a Nobel Prize for Communication (or a Noble Prize either). Pity!

    1. @jillccwrites2 says:

      Hahaha! We love your discovery of CL. You definitely deserve a prize for it. Truly, the entire world could benefit from CL. We love it!

  4. Denis V. says:

    Is Mary Ellen the best listener is our relationship? My darling, there is no shame in a Silver Metal!

    1. @jillccwrites2 says:

      Hahaha! To us, you’re both magnificent listeners. You two could teach a class on it.

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