Last night I was sitting and reading my current non-fiction choice (You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters), and a couple of lines stood out to me that I wanted to share.
“Everybody is interesting if you ask the right questions.”-Kate Murphy, p. 40
I had to stop reading for a second and think about this. I mean, really, what a great point. There definitely have been times that I have talked to someone, only to feel that they are maybe a little bit dull, or not that talkative. (I do think that we naturally “click” better with some people than others, but this made me reconsider the whole idea in general.)
The author comments that “if someone is dull or uninteresting, it’s on you!”
It makes sense, when I ponder it. Think about the vastly different experiences we all live. The millions of moments that make up our lives. How can we NOT learn or discover something from another person, who is living a completely different version of life than we are??
She then shares another quote that I liked, too:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”-Dale Carnegie
As she delves more into this, these were my main takeaways:
🔷”To listen is to be interested, and the RESULT is more interesting conversations.”
🔷People actually respond more to a good listener. If you’re barely listening to someone because you think they/ the topic is boring, you will actually MAKE IT SO. The person will sense your disinterest and actually become less interesting!
🔷The goal in a conversation = to leave the exchange having learned something. You already know about yourself!
🔷Approach others with genuine curiosity about their thoughts and feelings. The biggest mistake is ASSUMING that we know what people are thinking and feeling. Studies show that even with people we are closest to, what we think we know about them is very often wrong.
🔷 Don’t presume you know what someone is going to say. Don’t try to finish their sentences, or interrupt. Wait. You may be very surprised!
As I read, I couldn’t help but think about the best listener I know- my Dad. Not trying to get sappy here, but my Dad is probably the most curious, interested person I’ve ever met. He will talk to anyone, ask a million questions and genuinely listen, because he is earnestly curious about what the answer is and wants to learn more.
(Pro tip- don’t go to a museum with my Dad unless you want to spend 10 hours there. He will read every single exhibit, and then seek out the museum worker to start asking a bunch of questions.😊 )
I have marveled at this when I’ve seen him ask Ivan questions about his job. Honestly, talking about details of the banking world (which is Ivan’s profession) kind of makes my eyes glaze over. I am SO guilty of kind of nodding and smiling sometimes when he starts talking about work, secretly wishing we could change the subject.
But my Dad will talk with him for an hour about it! He will ask question after question, really letting Ivan explain and share whatever it is that was stressful or bugging him that day. He does the same with me, when I start talking about something related to the kids, or the house, or my job.
Anyway, I just really love this idea of remembering that EVERYONE is interesting. Great reminder.
Who’s the best listener you know? Leave a comment! It’s interesting to think about it- see if anyone pops into your mind. 🙂
I am grateful for catching up on my work yesterday while sitting next to the fireplace! Yay for laptops and my little portable lap desk. Also, for a walk with Asher last night, staying awake for Coco! and a nice breakfast with Ivan yesterday morning.
5 thoughts on “Everybody is interesting”
I’m glad you are enjoying the book. I thought it was an interesting and fast read. What stuck with me was how having a discussion with someone who doesn’t agree elicits a brain response similar to running from a bear! I can totally see that as I HATE conflict!
My dad is also a good listener, mostly because he is NOT an interrupter. He’s very quiet and soft spoken so lets you talk without interjecting and asks good questions. But he asks way fewer questions than my mom – but can often get more information because he gives you time to talk. I also have several friends who are great listeners and I strive to be a good listener, too. Being interested in the other person is definitely key!
I don’t know you in “real life” Lisa, but I would bet money that you are a great listener! I can tell, because you always post very thoughtful comments on my blog and other blogs that we both read. 🙂
Sounds like a good book! I’m guilty of going faster than the speaker and wanting to finish their sentences. I fully agree that if we slowdown we can find anyone’s life interesting, the IF is the key.
I like your dad already. 🙂
One of my very first blog posts was about this book. It definitely made me think and strive to be more intentional in listening and not just assuming I know what the other person will say. It’s especially easy to do this with people you are close to!
Oh, this is so true. I wish I were a listener like your father! Something to strive for. I like to think I’m getting better, but I know I can always improve. Such an important topic… and sounds like a really interesting book!