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Listen to understand!

According to a google search, researchers said, over the course of a three-minute conversation, men interrupted women 2.1 times. In contrast, during conversations of the same duration, men interrupted other men only 1.8 times—and women on average interrupted men only once. I find this hard to believe because the other day as I was talking to a friend of mine and over the course of our 60-minute conversation, I probably interrupted him 5-10 times. There are times when I am watching an Instagram LIVE video feed and a woman is the host and she has 3 men on her panel. In the first 10 minutes of that discussion, she has interrupted those men a total of 15 times. If you ask me, the math is not (mathing) adding up.

I feel we as women sometimes feel like we aren’t being heard and so we make ourselves heard even when it has nothing to do with us. Scripture tells us in Matthew 11:15 that he who has an ear, let them hear. We can’t hear if we aren’t really listening. And if we are listening, it’s to respond or react and we never understand. There is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth. We should listen more than we speak. James 1:19 tells us that everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. How many times have you heard of an altercation between two people that escalated to physical violence only to find out it was a big misunderstanding? We have to do a better job of actively listening in all situations.

I know for me, I have to practice this all the time. I have so much going in my mind that I have to literally tell it to "quiet down" so I can hear what the other person is saying to me. I need to make sure I am present in that particular conversation and not thinking or worrying about other things. I have to stop saying, this is how I have always been and make some adjustments and be better at it. Its about growing each and every day!

You might ask, what does it mean to actively listen? It means you are paying close attention to what the person is saying and may reiterate it to them on how you understood what they are trying to convey for better comprehension. We need to get in the habit of communicating back what we hear and getting clarification. In my opinion, this world would be a better place to live in if we practiced this on a daily basis. So, I urge you to do more listening than talking and make sure you understand the message that is being brought forth. May we all do our best to be present in the conversation and pay close attention so there isn’t any miscommunication.

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Sep 26, 2023

Growing up I was taught that hearing and listening were two totally different things. When someone would say to me, "I heard you", I'd ask "But did you listen to what I was saying". They'd respond with "Huh?" A lot of times when people are having a conversation one may just be looking at the other person's mouth move, just hearing sounds until their brain registers a trigger word and once the other person takes a pause to breath *BOOM* it's over. The entire message of the conversation was missed all because they got stuck on that one trigger word. I've seen this happen in real day to day relationships and a lot on social media. 😳

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