listening not hearing, long distance woes, and Lynchburg VA.
Mar 15, 2017
What our friends say.
We’ve all experienced a situation where two parties are in a heated debate, and end up talking over one another instead of listening. Perhaps their emotions took over. Or perhaps yelling over the other person is their strategy to “win”. In any case, isn’t it curious how we’ve institutionalized how to talk more effectively (public speaking, debate, Toastmasters) and yet we don’t have anything for listening?
Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
And yes, if we’re thinking of a response while someone is talking, we’re not really listening. So how can we listen better?
James Altucher practices what he calls extreme listening, that includes thinking about the following while listening:
– What are the spaces?
“And after my divorce I moved into a smaller apartment…”
Wait a second. Why did you get a divorce? What happened? This might be critical for how you developed relationships afterwards.
– Do they ever not answer the question?
Rule of life: if someone doesn’t answer the question, then they [might be hiding something].
Example: “Where were you last night?” “Oh, I was out with friends.”
Notice that the “where” was not answered.
– Repeat what you’ve learned.
When I talk to someone I like to break it down (for myself) into concise things I’ve learned from their experience. So I often summarize what I’ve learned.
This gives them a chance to correct. And also to appreciate how hard I’ve been listening. People like to be heard. And I like to listen.
Long distance sucks. Yes, even with all the technological advancements, we still fall short of replicating the same in-person experience. Being physically present allows us to be close with one another, to be intimate. So how can we preserve our relationship if we become separated by time zones and it takes planes-trains-and-automobiles to see each other?
One way is to keep creating shared experiences. Shared experiences keep both parties invested in each other’s lives and helps set context for what the other is up to. This new shared context is what can help drive the relationship forward. We’re not talking about exchanging a laundry list of status updates but rather stories of what’s going on. Like a real Skype session or Google Hangout.
TLDR it’s going to be emotionally hard, but we can find new ways to have what we've always had.
Got that friend or co-worker you talk alot about "life" stuff with?
And now we present you, the most typical city in America: Lynchburg, VA.
Product designer Karl Sluis, maps out eight measures on over 900 cities to find the most typical city. Above is Lynchburg VA’s values against the average.
"Made of four counties and eleven communities, Lynchburg’s statistics are less than half of a standard deviation from average across every measure. In fact, the median income of Lynchburg’s residents ($46,913) lies closer to the average ($46,871) than any other city."
Here's to conquering our 20s and 30s together. See you back in your inbox tomorrow!