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One Thing We All Need to Get Better At

You know how sometimes when you’re talking with a friend, you get the feeling that they’re a little distracted and not truly listening? It doesn’t feel good. But you can also feel yourself feeling distracted or not fully engaged when trying to listen to a friend. I know I’ve been on both ends of that and I’m not proud of it. Maxie is here today to talk about the importance of really tuning into friends– an important reminder!

Connecting with friends

One Thing We All Need to Get Better At

Guest Post by Maxie McCoy

Finding magic in life isn’t that hard if you look for it. We rush around so quickly all of the time that we miss the beauty. And I bet no one would fight me if I said that we miss out on so many little joys because our head is so far into our phones.

It’s one thing to miss what’s going on around us, and it’s another thing to take the people around us for granted – strangers and besties alike. Because just like the magic happening in the small moments, the same is true for the magic of our relationships. So often we miss the opportunity to see it because we don’t ask (and maybe don’t care). However, we should care about the people around us. And show it.

Last week as I sat down for lunch, the waiter asked how I was, to which I responded and asked him the same. He told me how rare it was for anyone to ask him (how he was) back. I asked why he thought that was to which he replied, “I think people are scared of the answers.” Casual lunchtime mic drop from John at La Scala.

But he might be right. Luckily the past few weeks have been filled with countless conversations with people I’ve just met and amazing catch ups with my besties (Like Carly at Create+Cultivate… oh my gosh y’all it was the best). In all of those chats, though, I realized how easy it is to slip into talking about ourselves the entire time – I was guilty of doing this a large handful of times. It’s like we want to fill the space and make it all about us because we can control the conversation that way… so that’s what we do. We talk and talk and talk.

Where’s the genuine interest in the other person??

I wondered that, and have been wondering that, for the past few days. At first I thought that maybe we’re terrible listeners… or that maybe we don’t know what to ask… or that we simply don’t ask enough meaningful questions of people. But the more I’ve been paying attention, the more I realize those are all just symptoms of our lack of interest in the people standing right in front of us.

Everyone has a story to tell. A lesson to share. And something new to express to you. But we’ll never get there unless we take a genuine interest in how other people are, especially when it comes to the relationships that are so freaking near and dear to us. Taking an interest in the other person’s life is going to enrich our relationships tenfold.

The next time you’re in a conversation with someone, anyone really, see what happens when you actually slow down and show up to that conversation with a genuine interest in what’s going on for them. When you do, you’ll ask more questions than you answer. You’ll deepen your connection with that person. And you might be given the gift of insight about the person that you’d never had had otherwise. It’s something we all need to get better at, because it’ll infuse the most important aspect of our life, our relationships, with more love.

And couldn’t we all use a little bit more of that these days?

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9 Comments

Kelli Roscoe

@Carly, thank you so much for bringing Maxie’s words of wisdom here. Everything she says rings true in that “I should be doing this, why have I not?” sort of way.

As a self-identified talker this can be a tough reality to swallow…but like Maxie said when we truly listen we see the magic right in front of us.

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Jen Kessler

This is great advice, Maxie! It’s so true. As an introvert, I’ve taught myself that the best way to get out of my shell and talk to people is to ask them questions and take an interest in them. It helps break the ice because people always like to talk about themselves (it’s an easy topic usually :))

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Devon Hembury

I definitely can relate! Sometimes I’ll be in a conversation with someone and be semi-listening but really thinking about something else the entire time. Not good!! Definitely need to start slowing down and really listening to people. Loved this post! xo Devon Seventeen Dresses

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Bryn Bradsher

I have definitely been on both ends of this! It can be so hurtful when it’s clear the other person isn’t listening so I really try to make sure my phone is stashed in my purse and all other distractions are minimized. It really makes a difference when we actually talk to each other.

xo Bryn http://www.waketonroad.com

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Claire P

I totally agree, this is so important. But for some reason I have trouble with it. I find that when I’m talking to most people, I get quite anxious and can’t think of what to talk about or ask people – or I worry that I’m being too nosy. Then I walk away from the conversation realising that they asked me questions about myself the whole time and I asked them none. I always feel so bad about it. 🙁

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