Good evening! How do you feel when the person you are in a conversation with is not listening to you? I observed a conversation today that went as follows (verbatim):
Greeter: “Happy Friday! How are you doing today?”
Responder: “I’m glad it’s Friday! It’s been one of…”
Greeter: (interrupting responder) “I don’t know about you, but I am glad that it’s Friday!”
Responder: “That’s what I just said!” (Shaking her head from side to side.)
I am extending a request to each of you, who have taken the time to read my post today — would you please consider completing this exercise within the next week: — Start a conversation with someone (anyone) – intentionally give an awkward answer to any of their questions – allow your awkward response to be completely opposite of whatever they ask. The goal of this exercise is to determine how many people will keep talking, as if you provided a routine question – compared to those who really listen to you. I would love to hear any of your responses after you have completed the exercise. I took this challenge too. I gained many benefits that enhanced my writing. Here are just a few — it strengthened my self-awareness; it increased my listening skills because I was intentionally listening for their response to determine if they noticed my awkward answers. Another very valuable lesson I gained when my answers were completely ignored — my empathy increased because I was now able to understand how people feel who get ignored nearly every day of their life. I am hopeful that each of you will gain something new if you take this challenge. If you enjoy writing a story about something you experienced, then this exercise will allow your first-person experience to shine through in one of your characters to bring your words to life. I have learned that the more exposures you make to different experiences – the easier it is to create strong characters. I’ll be waiting to hear comments of those of you who are willing to complete the exercise.