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Centerpointe Research


Please Listen To Me

good_listeningPlease listen to me so that you can tell me what I said.  Don’t make it a waste of my breath to talk to you.  Sometimes a conversation becomes a competition to see who can dominate  it and at the same time no one really is listening to the other.  You are trying to tell someone something and they are too busy thinking of what to say next to listen.

Why do we talk to others  Is it to learn something new or to convince someone else to accept our values or to take our point of view.  If you are not open to changing your mind or rethinking a position that you have taken then why do you think that other people would be that way?

Have you ever gotten involved in a conversation that has turned into a yelling match?  What do you think that you or the other people you are talking “at”  are accomplishing ?  Yes, it is nice to get something off your chest; but what if it doesn’t really solve anything?

Sometimes therapy is the only place where someone really listens to you; but then I (and probably you) have heard of stories where the therapist fell asleep during a session while supposedly listening to their patient.


activelistening-glych1 (Photo credit: stallio)

Therapy involves “active listening” where the therapist repeats what the client has said in his or her own words to be sure that he or she has gotten correct what the other person has been trying to say.  Then the therapist might make an interpretation of what the client is actually probably doing or make a suggestion as to what the client might do about the problem they have just related to the therapist.

Debating is an activity that promotes active listening and the ability to see the other side of issues.  Critical thinking is encouraged and people are forced to be able to take both sides of an issue.  We are not always able to see the other person’s point of view.  In a society that promotes individual differences, we often get caught up in defending our right to have our own preferences and ignoring the right of others to have theirs.

Think for yourself, but give others that right too.


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Rational Explanations

Rational Explanations (Photo credit: tatarize)

Rationalization is coming up with a good reason for something happening usually after the fact.  It wasn’t why the person really did something, but it sounds good.  It is also a way of explaining something away.  It usually doesn’t begin with, “Honestly….”  It is something that lawyers, usually, know how to do or politicians.  I am not to sure that scientists don’t do it too when they have some results in their experiments that they didn’t expect and/or don’t exactly fit their theories.

Once the rationalization is given, it is expected that it will be accepted and no further explanation will have to be given.  The person who gives the rationalization often does such a good job that he or she begins to believe it too and no longer feels that there was a problem with what happened that needed to be explained away to begin with.  Once a person has done this, it is very difficult or impossible to convince them otherwise and get them to admit to what really happened.

Salesmen and debaters are good at this.  Salesmen often sell a product that they don’t necessarily believe in especially before they become a salesman for that product.  Salesmen have to do a convincing job of getting people to believe that the salesmen have a product that they, the prospective customers, can’t do without.  Debaters practice taking both sides of an issue and proving that the side that they are taking for the sake of the debate is the correct one.




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