Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Quotes To Chew On Tonight

I have started reading two books today, not sure which I will commit to first. They are both on my 8 x 8 in '08 list. Tonight I was reading the first chapter of The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols. Two things have stood out to me so far, and they are as quoted below:

"One of a mother's heaviest burdens is being the primary target of her children's primitive swings between need and rage."

The mothers in the room are surely nodding their heads. I'll have to think about that some more.

The second is a little harder for me to stomach right now. Having struggled much of my life-- at least on an internal level-- with social skills, I have only a very basic ability to be a good conversationalist. One tool I often fall back on is trying to share common ground with the person with whom I am talking. So if they, for example, start telling a story about an awful experience they had the other day at a restaurant, my first instinct is to share an awful restraunt story of my own as commiseration. In fact, depending on the speaker's motivation for sharing this story, this may leave them with the feeling that I am not really just *hearing* them. So, the author says:

"A good listener is a witness, not a filter for your experience."

Huh. Good food for thought as I hit the hay tonight.

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