Sunday, 13 January 2013
Week 3: I'm sorry, were you trying to say something?
I have a terrible habit.
It drives me crazy when other people do it to me, yet I do it to others again and again.
You might be trying to tell me a story and all I can do is interrupt. Let me be clear: I'm not interrupting you because I think your story is boring and I want to change the topic; I simply think I can predict exactly what you're going to say. I'm that person who tries to finish your sentences.
Where does this stem from? Impatience? (surely I can tell your story more efficiently than you can); maybe a desire to show my clever skill of being able to get inside your head? (don't worry, I can't really do that, it just sometimes appears that I think I can); poor conversational etiquette? I'm not sure, but I do know this is a huge block for me on my 'mindfulness' journey.
Maybe it would be easier to leave this particular 'challenge' until later in the year. Week 50 is looking good. But, you know what they say: “eat the frog first” and all that. It's better to get the hardest stuff out of the way; then the rest will be (relatively) easy.
This is my frog. Ok, maybe it's one of my frogs, because I'm pretty sure I have a few. Either way, it's not a bad thing to knock on the head.
How does this case of 'conversation, interrupted' impact my ability to live mindfully? Well, while I'm busy computing what I think someone is going to say next and then, rudely, saying it for them, I'm missing an opportunity to really be with them. To really listen and understand. Wouldn't it be far more mindful, let alone polite, to simply let them say their thing? Who am I to take the words out of their mouth, or, worse, put them in?
So there it is: Week 3 is all about listening.