Why Nobody Seems To Be Listening

The main reason for “Why it seems nobody is listening” is because they’re not.

In a recent study, spanning over 5 decades, one researcher (Me) found that many people don’t pay attention to the actual words others are using. For the most part people hear what they think you mean.

I can’t say “Most people don’t hear the words used” because I haven’t talked to most of the people on earth. I’ve talked to quite a few though.

I had someone tell me the other day that figuring out what people meant when they talked got you to the resolution quicker. Really? I always found it confusing, annoying and a sure road to misunderstanding and conflict.

I’d say at least half of the people listening are listening with something besides their ears. I guess a good reference for this would be the concept of “Reality Tunnels”. There are lots of ideas about this aural perception phenomena. I see it as a filter placed in between the mind and the environment.

This filter is the self image. Listening and hearing is therefore dependent on any filtering done by the self image. It’s not a new idea. We’ve all heard it said, “People hear what they want to hear”.

Rudimentary examples abound in sexual relationships. It’s the “That was the wrong thing to say” experience. You know what you said. Maybe you said, “This salad dressing tastes awful”. But what was heard was something like, “You do things I find awful” or “You’re an awful host, wife, person…”.

In this example the words didn’t say one single thing about the person who provided the salad dressing. The filter said, “That means this”. The statement, “That’s a stupid thing to say” doesn’t say “You’re stupid”.

I guess anyone can see the world wide ramifications of this syndrome. If words aren’t heard, exclusively, where does that get us?

Ever wonder how people can vote for a criminal, a con artist or any obvious act? Ever wonder what people hear in churches?

What would happen if all the self image filters were to vanish?

If people heard the words and only the words? I think this is the source of much of the worlds nonsense, unrest and turmoil. How much political bull shit could be passed off with the public if the public was really listening?

Words can’t hurt people. People more often than not hurt themselves. I’m sold on the idea that people be introduced to themselves before they’re sent out into the world. But to do this we’d need teachers that really understood things about the formation of the self image.

This is obviously a deep topic and I’m not attempting to settle anything today. I only wrote down something for the questions we might have about why nobody seems to be listening. For me this has helped with the “Why are things the way they are” questions.