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.