Is Conversation dying? Maybe just mine.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to be heard, they listen with the intent to reply”.

Just let that sink in. Think about it. How often do you ask someone a question, only to half listen because you’ve thought of something else to say, you know how to solve their problem/have a “suggestion” for what worked for you, or you don’t really care? When you ask someone a question, I encourage you to be engaged with their answer. Listen. Acknowledge their feelings. Acknowledge the situation. Ask more questions! And then go into your answer. It takes practice and time, but it can completely improve a conversation, considering most people are QUITE aware when you have stopped listening (a dead give away is “mmhmmm” after a really long statement and then a quick change of subject).

This all stemmed from my postpartum meeting with my client this weekend. She wanted to discuss and digest and let go. She had a goal of having an unmedicated birth and ended up having an epidural so she felt as though she didn’t meet her goal. I could have responded a million ways “you did met your goal, you had your baby”, “hundreds of people have epidurals it’s not a big deal”, “you had epidurals with your other babies, this one wasn’t so different.”Instead, I acknowledged her disappointment. It must be frustrating to have a plan, a mindset, and come so close and not make it. Only after acknowledging her frustration did I then commend her on how awesome she did. Forty hours of labor without an epidural! Two hours of “I can’t” before she finally REALLY COULD NOT. The beauty of birth is not HOW we have a baby, but that we HAD a baby.

This whole situation got me thinking to conversations I have with people and mostly my lack of them because I’ve become so aware to listening and conversation techniques. I’m an open book if you ask me a question, and you are GENERALLY interested in something. But a vague, open “how are you doing? how are you feeling? What’s new?” I won’t give specifics and I end up being very vague with my answer. Because those aren’t questions that show you really care. Questions like “how did your conferences go? How many people attended?” “How is potty training going” “Do you have stuff for the baby?” “What are you making for dinner this week?”OR if you read this blog, questions about things I write in it. It’s usually not be just spouting off, I try to create conversation. I don’t know. Just anything really. When did conversing become so hard and teeth pulling like?

Maybe it’s some weird developed trait of being so introverted over the past two years, but it’s definitely made me more aware of my conversations, both as a listener and a talker. I’m not saying I’m a good listener either, I definitely have A LOT of room for improvement. But I try to only focus on the conversation I am having at the time, I make mistakes and I realize I make them and I try to be a better listener the next time (looking at you Kristin J.; sorry for changing the topics so much –insert monkey covering mouth emoji). Give or take with a toddler in my presence. Or maybe this is just all the hormones talking. Who knows.

I think the world could all manage to be a much better place if we all just listened to each other a lot more and acknowledged each other’s feelings.

Updates with Baby

IMG_2318

Side note: That skirt is from my senior year of high school. I’m feeling PRETTY good about not wearing any maternity clothes today.

How Far Along: 26 weeks
Size of Baby: Bowling Pin/Butternut squash. Kid clocks in at 2 lbs and just over 12 inches.
Total Weight Gain: Eye roll. I’m 9 lbs away from where I was with Anna, and I still have 14 weeks to go.
Movement: Get your tickets for the show, starts at 7 pm and goes until 5 am.
Status of my Belly: Pretty sure it popped 2 more inches last night.
Organization Status: I found this list titled “40 bags in 40 days” and essentially it was like, go through one thing at a time to organize and purge. Last night I did the laundry room. I’ve already made $28 from stuff I sold. And it’s organized. And clean! Next up is one Kitchen cabinet. Stuff we haven’t used in a year? Get going.  

 

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2 thoughts on “Is Conversation dying? Maybe just mine.

  1. I love how you dealt with that postpartum mum – and I wish I’d had that wisdom in the past. A friend of mine had a traumatic delivery and while I did what I could for her, I found it difficult to speak about it to her – particularly because I had a straightforward delivery so it almost made me feel guilty about it. I kept focusing on the “You have a beautiful baby now” etc. but never truly acknowledged the fact that she really was traumatised by the labour and that was a completely different issue in itself. But anyway, I hope I’ll be a better support for my friends next time!
    https://mummyofdragons.wordpress.com/

    1. melissaraetaylor

      Thank you! It has taken a lot (like four) leadership courses for me to learn that the art of listening is truly *listening and acknowledging*. So often we want to solve someone’s problems with our own antidotes, or our own assumptions, and really, sometimes a person just wants to be sympathized with–not bright-sided. They just want to…be sad about the moment. AND IT’S FINE TO BE SAD ABOUT THINGS. I am continuously telling my husband this when he tries to logic me into feeling better. We all understand the rational, logical side of things, but the emotional side still exists and we should acknowledge it. Hopefully you don’t have a situation like that in the future but I am glad I can help if you do!

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