Simultaneous experiment #3 – Listening to what people say

While someone’s telling you something.. do you ever already start putting together your response, or thinking about what you’re going to say back, while they’re saying it? As they’re making a point or telling you something about their life, are you ever already formulating a cleverly-crafted or funny remark in response?

This is from the COMMUNICATION entry in The Onion Book of Known Knowledge:


Same thing goes for reading texts, messages or emails from people you care about. When they’re telling you about themselves, if you’re immediately thinking of a response, are you ever really learning about them? Or merely taking on board what you want in context of who you see it and the response you’re thinking of giving.

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Maybe you’ve never done that. But listening to someone you give a lot of fucks about it is one thing, but hearing the meaning, the emotion, the importance and maybe the lesson of what they’re saying is another. Because listening and hearing are the only way we truly learn about stuff, and people.

Simultaneous experiment #3 – Listen and hear what people say to me AND ONLY THEN think of a response

I’m currently experimenting with this and working towards experimenting with this. And this experiment could lead to people think I’m slower than usual, demented in the old coconut or insane in the membrane (Insane in the brain). Or at least some awkward pauses as I gather thoughts and put everything together they told me, only after they’re done talking.

That’s the beauty of experiments. They can be pointless failures, disastrous debacles or colossal calamities, but every time, you learn something. And often something cool.