Listen Up

 In Fort Collins

By Cheryl Hansen

 

I’ve heard a lot lately about listening—how little people do it, mostly. We typically worry so much about what we’re going to say next in a given exchange, that we barely hear what the other person has said, much less process and appreciate it. 

 

I am admittedly not a good listener. I want to badly to offer something colorful, witty or otherwise compelling that I am quite sure I miss a lot of good stuff. Just like a lot of interpersonal skills, listening takes practice and I need a lot of it. 

 

Not only am I a poor listener when it comes to social situations, I suck at listening to myself. My inner voice is constantly repeating herself. She gets pretty annoyed, truth be told. It’s one of those, “How many times do I have to tell you?” dealios day in and day out. It’s usually about letting grievances go or calling my dad. But I never listen. 

 

My gut has better luck, but she wouldn’t say I’ve exactly nailed listening to her either. Often, she’ll say, “I told you so,” but by then it’s too late. I always promise to do better next time. 

 

My body is all but ready to write me off. She’s always trying to tell me things, but I refuse to hear. Maybe I’m too busy trying to offer her something colorful—like Skittles, for instance—to be able to process and appreciate what she’s saying. And she’s usually saying something like, “Remember how Skittles give headaches?” 

 

The worst part is that when I don’t’ listen to my body, she’s the one who pays the price. Milkshakes, Blizzards, Sonic Blasts and the like ALWAYS make me sick to my stomach. My body is well aware of this, but it ALWAYS seems to come as a surprise to me. My gut be like, “How many times do I have to tell you?” And my inner voice replied, “I know, right?” My body? She didn’t say a word. 

 

She was in the bathroom. 

 

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