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You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy
You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned as a journalist is that everybody is interesting if you ask the right questions. If someone is dull or uninteresting, it’s on you ― Kate Murphy

We live in a time that is literally active 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We have TV networks, cable networks, online news feeds, and a myriad of other sources sending us news, entertainment, music, and pundits representing every possible political persuasion. We also have online dating, online social networks, and “communities” for every possible social group. Yet loneliness is on the rise – even as we look past the pandemic. Some of us are concerned that this may be, at least in part, due to a decline in…listening.

In her book, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why, journalist Kate Murphy makes the case that listening is a skill that is becoming increasingly rare. Our homes are no longer organized around the dinner table or front porch. So often, even when we’re in the company of others, we spend hours staring at our phones and scrolling through social media accounts. Interacting. Liking. Sharing. But not necessarily listening to anyone.

In our modern society we are encouraged to “speak our minds.” We post our “thoughts” and seek after likes. We take speaking classes. We seek to be heard but not necessarily to listen. Yet, as Murphy describes, we desire…we need to be heard. We want to believe people are listening. Listening connects us. It allows us to understand one another – to demonstrate true humanity. Without it, we will continue to see loneliness increase, as well as a host of other societal ills. We all have a story to share…if only someone is willing to hear it.

To listen well is to figure out what’s on someone’s mind and demonstrate that you care enough to want to know ― Kate Murphy