You just don’t listen

All my life I have had men nailing down my ‘problem’ with the words ; ‘You know what your problem is? You just don’t listen’. My family, friends, lovers and husband and all said the same. So of course when everybody is telling you the same thing you must assume that there is some truth in it.

I decided some self improvement was needed and took action. I would really make an effort to listen to the men in my life. I bit my tongue and opened my mind to the possibilities. Often I got very bored and struggled to remain awake but I really did try to listen. And then, when the men finally took a moment to catch their breath, I took the opportunity to make my reply; only to be shot down with the same old complaint ‘You haven’t been listening to me!’

At the end of last year when once again standing accused of not listening I decided instead of action I would think deeply about my problem of not listening. What was I doing wrong? I had read the self-help books on listening. I was looking the man of words in the eye, giving my undivided attention and allowing him endless time to get to his point – when is the conversation no longer a conversation but a monologue – before I started composing an answer. Despite all this I still stood accused of not listening.

Finally after another sleepless night tossing and turning over this seemingly unsolvable mystery I hit on the answer.

It is not that I don’t listen to the men in my life, it is that I don’t often agree with them that offends them so. How can I possible have been listening to their great wisdom and not agree? It can only mean one thing; you just haven’t been listening.

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