I'm not a very good listener I was recently told. The sad part about that statement is I knew it was true, I'm not a good listener, I'm just not. Being told that wasn't fun either but I couldn't argue, I already knew it was a weakness of mine, granted I was aware of it and trying to do better but still, it was true.
That is a frustrating thing about trying to make wholesale changes in one's life like I have been trying to do, the only certainty in the whole mess is that you will definately fall short in some area or another. And for me, my shortfall has been as a listener...Oh I listen, intently while someone is speaking but I always have something to say in return and often, once I start yaking, I just keep on going and going and going.
And this really bothers me...sometimes during a conversation I will realize I'm doing it and it just freezes me right then and then. It's hard because I so badly want to be the good guy, the good friend, confidant and listener but I cannot help myself..I won't shut up!
It was hard for me to hear from someone I care about that I tend to talk too much (still) and don't seem to ever sit back and listen. My first reaction was to defend myself by saying how much I have progressed in that area of my life and frankly that is true. I've gotten a bit better and I do realize it's an issue but the truth is I've still got a long, long way to go. It's funny sometimes when you ask for another person's feedback because you might hear something you'd really rather NOT hear! But honestly it was good for me and if I was to honestly ask myself, deep down if there was an area in my life where I knew I still had big changes to make...this would have been what I'd have said...I need to be a better listener.
It bothers me to think that people I care about a great deal may think I don't care about them enough to listen to what they have to say when the simple truth is I care a lot and really do want to hear what's going on. It's clearly a character defect and something I still have to work on but I truly hope folks to really think I don't care enough to listen.
I guess I am just going to have to get over the embarrassment and accept that once again I'm not perfect or anywhere even remotely close...let's see if perhaps I can do better from now on.