active listeners

bobbleheadI graduated with a Religious Studies/Communications degree at ASU, so I’ve taken quite a few classes about the art of communication.

I learned a lot about “active listening“, which is basically about paying attention to what is being said and being able to repeat it back to the person speaking. It’s about keeping eye contact, nodding your head in agreement, etc…

…and it drives me nuts sometimes.

I was recently in a room where one guy went completely overboard with his “active listening”. It was so stinking distracting…

He would do this humming thing, and not like a quiet personal hum, but a loud, “Hey everyone else, I just want you to know that I agree, and by the way I have experienced this, and I’m actually the only person this guy is talking to” kind of way. It would happen at least once, maybe twice, per sentence. And it was always partnered with a head nod. He was a humming bobblehead.

I just sat in the back of the room and watc hed him like a TV show.

Don’t judge me.

I try to avoid prolonged conversations with people like this. I’m just being honest. People that are super-listeners usually make me uncomfortable. They usually stand REALLY close to you when you’re talking, and I always have a suspicion that they aren’t ACTUALLY listening to me. They’re too busy humming and nodding.

I want to be listened to, and I want to be a good listener, but there are boundaries people!

Are ya with me? Is this a pet peeve of yours, or um… are YOU that guy?

2 thoughts on “active listeners”

  1. Totally with you.

    What I want to know is how you gently hint to people they need to stop talking, because I have fallen into the disgusting habit of unactively listening

    ie: looking away, turning my attention to something else, etc – until they get the hint that this conversation should have finished, like, 10 seconds after it started…

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