reACTion

Yogi teabag quote of the day - "Act, Don't React."

I feel like when confronted with things it is human nature to spend so much time assembling our response/defense/reaction in our heads that we forget to really listen or hear what is being said to us in the first place.

The moment we feel we are being disrespected or attacked we begin the process - we start assembling our next line, our defense. Unfortunately, in that exact moment we stop listening. Totally and completely. Because you can't listen when you are talking, even if the talking is only going on in your head.

None of us are above doing this, it's human nature. But, it's a huge communication flaw - and extremely destructive. The person speaking never feels heard for what they intend to say and the person "listening" never really takes in the message. We don't learn each other. We don't progress. We only shield ourselves from that which we don't want to explore. We create a defense for what may not actually have been an attack. We stop communication before it begins. We alter openness and honesty and turn it into a word game so far off the topic it's not worth talking at all.

What if we took the time to hear what was being said before assuming the worst, or assuming anything at all?

What if we were so okay with life that we didn't feel the need to defend ourselves at all?

Perception is one person's reality - but it isn't actual reality. It's actually a barrier to communication. An unavoidable barrier, but a barrier none-the-less.

We'd all be wise to assume less and listen more. It'd eliminate rash judgments and give us a bit more time to put together the actual picture instead of reacting to the one we create in our heads.
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My advice: Drink tea for inspiration and comfort. Yogi is always there for me when I need it.

Comments

Audrey said…
What a great post Jamie. I have to admit, I am sometimes very guilty of listening more to the voice in my head and preparing my defense than in listening to the other person. I try to stop myself if I am aware of it, but even that is challenging at times. Great reminder to step back - seek first to understand, and then be understood as Stephen Covey tells us!
Anonymous said…
Hi Jamie this is so true. Listening is a wonderful skill that I need to work on, my head is always 10 steps ahead and thinking of the next thing. Thus a communication problem!! (with you know who). You have inspired me to work on this. It is never to late to learn!. I'm banking on an old phrase "this old dog can learn new tricks!" Enjoy your posts!!
Love, A. E.

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