Listening Without Defensiveness

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Being defensive is the act of defending oneself against the criticism of others. Listening without being defensive is listening with the absence of ignoring, twisting, offensive and defensive. It is being able to separate the individual and what they are saying, and considering their views.

How many of you have been in a place where you only respond critically? Perhaps it’s human to do so. I believe that I have always been a good listener. But at various stages in my life, I listened with a different purpose. But never to argue or become defensive.

An example of defensiveness …

Person 1: I believe you have the wrong information.

Person 2: How dare you!

Undefensive: How do you know that?

It is respectfully and calmly listening to the criticism of others. And not listen to respond because of preconceived notions or before the speaker summarize what he or she is saying.

With what intention do you listen? Is it to argue or understand? To be offensive or angry? Or misinterpret?

On several occasions, I have had this experience with someone close to me. To my mind, almost every conversation with this individual is barely completed. Generally, the entire time is spent answering questions based on half statements made. Entertaining? Not quite. Whether what I have to say is right or wrong, whether you agree or not I love to know I have an intent listener. Upon conclusion, comments and critics can be made.

Arguing with someone during a conversation and becoming defensive and angry defeats the purpose of the communication. How can one make an assumption or surmise based on incomplete information? What quality of response can you give in a state of heightened emotions?

An eristic. This is a fitting description of the individual. It is defined as a person with the quality of a debater – one who values winning an argument rather than arriving at the truth.

This doesn’t anger me but frustrates me due to the fact that I am unable to fully communicate what I have to say. In the end, the conversation intended is only a memory.

“Most people do not listen with intent to understand; they listen with intent to reply.”

Stephen R. Covey

Listening to argue

Try listening to understand rather than proving a point. When you disagree with others put your opinions aside and listen to what is being communicated. It is an emotional waste to argue with someone who only wants to hear what they want to hear. How can anyone have a conversation with someone who doesn’t want to listen? What will you converse about if the communication process is broken? Aim for listening to fully understand what is being related and to truly understand the other person opinion. Not to argue because you believe your opinion is more important.

Listening to become angry

Are you listening or waiting to be pissed off? Why? This describes the type of individual who believes that only his/her opinion matters. How many of you have had this experience? They are becoming increasingly popular these days. The issue with this kind of listening is that listening rarely takes place. The individual will completely miss the point resulting in misinterpreting and misunderstanding.

Someone who listens to understand is quite different from someone who doesn’t. Perhaps the problem lies in listening skills. If you want to have a cordial conversation, listening is tantamount to understanding what the speaker is saying. How will you be able to respond if you have a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions going on? Learning and practising healthy communication skills is the stepping-stone for communicating with others.

Listening plays an important role in refining one’s personal development. In fact, listening to others perspective demonstrate a positive feature of one’s personality and contributes to building close relationships with others. Therefore, it is very important to practice active listening skills. By becoming a better listener you can be more productive, persuasive and what more? Avoid conflicts and misunderstandings,

Here is another example of a good listener.

Spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills. Remember, good communication requires a great amount of awareness and is a significant contributor to developing relationships in all aspects of your life.

Published by Odee Bah

Hello Everyone, Welcome to my Blog. I'm all about self-improvement - self-improvement that involves daily and consistent actions, and the right mental attitude and behaviour in an effort to accomplish your goals; strengthening your confidence and self-esteem. Discover yourself as you become more mindful, present and peaceful in your life. I choose to share my writing with you and I hope you enjoy it and become inspired and aspire to your greatest heights.

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