“I’ve already told you ! Once again, you didn’t listen to me. Men just can’t listen!”
Does it remind you of something? :D
How many times do women complain that their male partner don’t listen to them!
At the very worst, he doesn’t even bother paying attention. At the very best, he would pretend, only for you to realize soon after he can’t remember anything at all and swear you never told him!
Well, let’s face it, we, women, often talk a lot, about anything and not always because we have something important to share. We may just need to vent about something, think out loud, or seek to exchange about what he considers shallow stuff he’s not the least interested in.
Not that it should be an excuse for him to pay no attention. But, since, on the matter, men are wired differently, that constant buzz makes no real sense to them. Eventually, they cannot tell when you really need an answer. So they’d rather often close their ears.
Another truth is we don’t always choose the best moment to talk to him. When he’s busy with something, should it be as trivial as watching TV, he focuses on what he’s doing and the rest of the world could collapse, he wouldn’t realize it!
So, even though we believe we made it clear we wanted to talk about something important and really hear his opinion and an appropriate answer, there’s no insurance he didn’t pretend, selectively picking a few “key words” at random, letting his mind wander, and not actually listening.
To avoid that inconvenience, here is my little trick : when you need to discuss a really important topic and want him to pay close attention to your words and focus on them, ask him to systematically repeat after you every sentence you pronounce. It may sound ridiculous and silly and, he may be reluctant to do it at first. Insist though, it’s worth it. That exercise is a very efficient way to have him pay attention and really listen.
I don’t mean you will always get an accurate answer to your question. Rest assured though he will have memorized every single word you will have said and you will not hear the “you never told me” any more. :)
The purpose of that exercise is to make his mind focus on your words. He can’t both repeat them and think of anything else at the same time. This is physiologically impossible. Nobody, not even us, can do both at the same time. On top of that, he won’t be able to secretly prepare an answer, so that idea won’t distract him.
By the way, you may do the same thing, when you’re having an important discussion. We like to think women are usually good listeners. It is not always true though.
So reciprocate and you will see how what could have turned into frustration, even an argument, will eventually turn into a more productive conversation. ;)
And practice. :) A good listener is often a well-trained listener.