Have you ever walked down a hall and someone passes you by and says “Hi, how are you?” They don’t stop to wait for the answer. In fact before lips part to make a sound the person is long gone. Another scenario is mumbling out a response such as “Ok, I guess.” The person responds with “That’s good” as they quickly vanish from sight. I wonder why people seem to care less now. Even Facebook is courteous and asks how I’m doing. It seems there are more responses coming from a white text box than an actual human being. What happened to the art of listening?
Listening requires more than just hearing words and nodding. It
requires ‘listening’ to the other person’s non verbal cues. Is the
person covering their face as if to say they want to hide from everyone?
Is the breath full of long deep pauses? It is understandable each
person’s world is full of commotion and noise. Constant beeping of
phones and blinking messages in the email take up time. For that
troubled soul, all that is needed is a sympathetic smile or just simply
asking how they are and waiting for an answer. I would think a person
could take the second to do this.
I went to the doctor today and it might as well been done over the
phone or via email. The doctor didn’t ask what was new and just wanted
to get the general exam done. I’ve been to this doctor for years! I
mentioned I felt run down and tired and the doctor simply just mentioned
“Oh, well I’ll check your blood tests.” There was no asking if I have
been stressed or having lack of sleep. The doctor didn’t listen. The
doctor just wanted to get through with exam quick and go to the next
When a person is constantly ignored they become upset and that built
up frustration can explode. I was working in a job where people just
cared about themselves and their own lives. They wanted people to ask
how they were doing but the sentiment wasn’t reciprocated. When I would
try to discuss a problem or issue it was swatted away like an annoying
fly. One day I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I literally went
into my boss’s office and said I quit. I wasn’t done, I proceeded to
sob. Sob in my boss’s office. Major Oprah ugly cry. Half of my makeup
ended up in streaks down my face. He didn’t have a tissue. Luckily he
closed the door and just let me vent. The flood gates were open and I
told him about how badly my colleagues were treating me, how
unappreciated I felt and that I felt no one cared about what was going
on with me. He just stared and didn’t say a word. We talked and I took
back my emotional resignation. I felt better because finally, someone
didn’t just turn a cheek.
I think this is the allure of social media. It seems when you put
yourself and your thoughts out there people give an immediate response.
Yet it seems a bit fake and forced. When a status is ‘liked’ do you
really know what the person is feeling? On Twitter, a link to an article
is posted. What was the thinking behind posting it? Texting is the same
way. I had a friend text and asked if I was okay after canceling our
plans. I texted yes and she replied “Really?” I love her like a sister
but call if you really want to know. Hearing my voice is a sure fire way
to know if I’m really okay. Yes, I was really okay in case my readers
or my bff are curious.
Before cell phones and instant messaging we had these cool things
called phones. They were attached to a spiral cord. You had to sit in
the house on the phone. The cord would become bunched up and twisted.
Time was spent trying to solve the puzzle of undoing the tangled mess. I
recall crying my heart out to sincere friends on the other line. If the
beep of call waiting would sound, it was simply ignored. Of course you
would hear about it from your angry mother or moody older sister. The
punishment and nuisance was worth it to have someone really hear you and
feel those emotions. Tomorrow when you pass a person in the hall give
yourself a five second delay and listen to what comes after “How are