ARE YOU LISTENING?


It’s fairly easy to tell when someone is actually listening to you. Body language is usually a dead give-away. For instance, I can always tell when Dr. Advice is not listening to me because he has a glazed look on his face, and his body language and spoken words don’t agree. My habit on those times is to simply say in a continuing conversational manner “I need to go wash the cat!”. It usually snaps him to attention. Besides we haven’t owned a cat for nearly 40 years.

When speaking to a group of children or simply the one child who needs to clean his/her room, a barely inaudible grunt while he/she is absorbed in a TV program or video game, is a sure sign that your message did not get through. It is my understanding that Bill Gates as a child answered his mother’s call to dinner from his downstairs room by saying “I’m busy”. But then, chances are, you did not give birth to another computer genius, and as it turned out, he really was busy.

Speakers are aware of body language, referred to as “audience awareness”, or relating to a group. As you prattle on about your favorite subject, and see that the audience is sitting back in their seats with their chins down and arms crossed on their chest, you might get a hunch that your delivery is not going well, or that half the audience is asleep. If what you are speaking about is contained in a slide show of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”, and you hear snores rumbling through the darkened room, you blew it.
Ear
Women are far more perceptive than men, which means being able to spot the contradictions between someone’s words and their body language. Female intuition is evident in women who have raised children. For instance, I long ago convinced my children and grandchildren that mothers really did have “eyes in the back of their heads”. How else to explain the sudden change of plans which accurately foiled any after-school activity they may have planned? It is a parental challenge at which mothers somehow can do intuitively.

It is a proven fact that women have far greater capacity for communicating and evaluating people than men do. Women have between fourteen and sixteen areas of the brain to evaluate others’ behavior versus a man’s four to six areas. This may explain how a woman can attend a dinner party and rapidly work out the state of relationships of other couples at the party—who’s had an argument, who likes who, and so on.

The female brain is organized for multitracking—the average woman can juggle between two and four unrelated topics at the same time. She can watch a TV program while talking on the telephone plus listen to a second conversation behind her, while drinking a cup of coffee. She can talk about several unrelated topics in the one conversation and use five vocal tones to change the subject or emphasize points. Unfortunately most men can only identify three. As a result, men often lose the plot when women are trying to communicate with them.

Then there is the “Fast Talker”, frequently a man, who has so much to say in a short time, and covers so many divergent subjects, that his spoken words pour out and flow like a spring thaw. These men are frequently lawyers or politicians. Are you listening Dr. Advice?

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

13 thoughts on “ARE YOU LISTENING?”

  1. Yes, that’s true. The more reasons for women to be leaders in the world. Men concentrate on one thing, usually poking guns or poking (won’t go there) something. In between they are busy with a very hectic sleep.
    The slide show of a holiday is always a great way to catch up on sleep. I remember a girls showing us an entire album of overpasses and bridges in Germany which impressed her so immensely, yet curiously enough, left most people staring ahead, desperate for an escape.
    Nice bit of writing and very funny. Poor Dr Advice, it rings a bell in my own behaviour.
    There is no hope!

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    1. I agree that women should be running the world Gerard!  We couldn’t be any worse off than we are now.  The old men plot and start wars and send the young ones of to do the dirty work after they start the families who will be left behind if they don’t make it back.  Poor planning somewhere.

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  2. excellent post. It’s true. Body language “speaks volumes” is various situations. For many years I’ve observed facial expressions and body language. In fact it is something to do when sitting in a waiting room- sneaking peaks at the people around the room. Observing one’s MD, hair dresser, grocery store clerk and, the list goes on. πŸ™‚

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    1. Usually the body language and facial expressions are far more interesting that what we’re waiting for.  Who is in a hurry to go into the dentist’s office anyway?  Watching a foreign movie without captions, you can usually figure out exactly what is going on just by watching body language.

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  3. Well, yes: there is most certainly an effect known as “wife deafness”. My husband is afflicted, too. The multitracking, or multitasking, is a great gift and it served me well at work as well as at home. I don’t think it’s working quite as well as it used to, though. 😦

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    1. Maybe we have learned from the men to obscure the information we aren’t interested in.  My own brain has only so much space  to store things, and there are fewer files I’m interested in!

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  4. I do like a talkative man. I met an Irishman for coffee last week, ostensibly for a work purpose. Two and a half hours later, we’d gone through Michael Collins, Gerry Adams, Father Ted and all points in between. Great craic!

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    1. I love the Irish.  They always have something to say, and it is usually fun.  We toured around Ireland a few years ago, and when I first heard the word “craic” I thought “Boy, these guys are really with it!”  My daughter had a serious (on his part) beau named Michael Collins, also named for the original.  We still correspond, and he sends me an additional Mother’s Day card every year.  When in Ireland everyone is Irish.  Dr. Advice loves to promote his Danish heritage, but we saw stores with his mother’s maiden name, so I think he must be part Irish too. 

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  5. I used to go with a fellow who was pretty one-track-minded. He was very nice, and liked people, but when we’d go off to dinner or an evening of socializing, on the way home I’d inevitably begin telling him this and that about the people who’d been there. He’d say, “How do you know that?” And I’d say, “I listened”. That was true. I also eavesdropped – there’s that multitasking again. It’s perfectly possible to sit at a table, eat, and carry on a conversation with the people around you while hearing everything being said at the next table. πŸ˜‰

    What’s so sad – at least to me – is that many younger women today seem determined to bury their natural talents for such things, all in the name of some ideology or other. I don’t know – what we thought of as feminism and what passes for it today (45 years later) are remarkably different. Instead of elminating those differences, it seems to me as though we might want to celebrate them!

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    1. The problem arises because it’s so much fun to talk!  And of course, when you’re talking, you can’t listen.  I run into this problem all the time right at home!  I often eavesdrop too.  You can learn a lot that way.  But there are people who eavesdrop and then try to join the conversation of strangers!  I have never been able to understand that way of thinking.  Or those who use any excuse to begin a conversation, such as recognizing a sports team logo on a T-shirt, and as much as say “How about those Raiders?”!  If you talk, you can’t learn anything.  Pet peeve of mine. Yes, the young women of today are quite different from those of the 70’s, 80’s who were trying to make a difference.  There are many advances in understanding, but as in everything, we’ve still got a long way to go Baby! 

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