How often do you formulate what you are going to say while someone else is talking? How often do you truly listen to what the other individual is saying to you? How often do you check out, get bored, or have too many other things going on in your brain? I am definitely known to have way to much going on in my brain, to the extent that sometimes the words that come out of my mouth sound like babble and do not make sense to others. Maybe it is information overload.
We all could listen more, but we can also talk less. They go hand in hand. It makes me ask the questions: “Do you listen to get to the next part of your day, do you truly care when listening, and do you talk to talk and be heard, or because you have something to say? Sometimes I think that some people talk to fill the open space. They are uncomfortable with silence, and quiet moments, so they do what they can to fill that silence, to fill that space. However awkward it might be, for them and everyone else.
Here is a thought (not grand, or new, or cutting edge). What if you listen more? Truly and intensely listen. Ask questions. Explore if you truly understand what someone else is saying and take the focus off you. Hard? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I care about each individual I interact with and I want them to feel that care. I genuinely want to listen, and I want others to give me the same respect and focus. Is that so hard? Are we asking each other to do too much? Hell no. We just need to get rid of our brainless distractions and “be” with another. Listen, go deep, be present, and get rid of mindless chatter, pointless conversation, and focus on what really matters.
I am going to make it a focus to keep working on how I listen. Let my mind slow down from all the elements of multitasking, breathe, and be in the moment where I truly focus on the other individual and give them my time.
I am a blunt woman. I tell it like it is, or usually say whatever is on my mind. So, I will be direct with you today. I am a multi-tasker. Some might say that is very inefficient, but I disagree. The best place to multi-task is well…the bathroom. There are so many ways to multi-task in the bathroom. I will share a few with you. At night I often read and brush my teeth at the same time. However, I have not had luck with reading and flossing my teeth. In the morning, I often read while I dry my hair, because face it, drying your hair is BORING.
In any case, there is the most obvious of all, multi-tasking while sitting on the toilet, porcelain basin, potty, can, shitter, john, loo, pot, whatever you call it. I am a serial user. You may find me on my iPhone, laptop, or reading a book. I might be playing words with friends, reading the news, writing emails, or heaven forbid – writing a blog post. Due to my multi-tasking tendencies, I have great respect for this Saturday Night Live skit, “Bathroom Businessman” with Keenan Thompson. Take a look (click the image to view video):
You might not feel so comfortable engaging in “potty” talk, but if we are real with each other, it is part of life. I do, however, think it is crossing the line to be in a public restroom and chatting away with your friend while doing your business. If in a public restroom, go right ahead and read a book, the news, update your Facebook status to your heart’s content, but if I have to listen to you chew out your husband, then finish your shit or get off the pot.