Tone deaf – Hearing vs Listening

I didn’t realise


Was wearing



As some kind of invisible accessory

I have taken it off now


Tell me your story again…

*there is a difference between hearing and listening

And it becomes instantly apparent

When we err

Or it did to me this morning – hence the second post while it comes to me

So hopefully I won’t make the same mistake again

But I probably will – being human

Anyway the point is

It’s not about me

And that is the difference between hearing and listening I believe

With hearing we are judging, analysing, fixing, sorting

Asking “hmm how does this apply to me?”

Of course we tell ourselves that we are being helpful, assisting, reassuring, bolstering, kind or some other kind of ego crap

But really all we are doing is filtering

And when someone is sharing thoughts

They don’t actually need all that

And they certainly don’t need your filter

They just want someone to listen

Listening is being present

Like a lake that one sits beside

Throwing stones




The ripples show they have heard

They have received

Yet they don’t return to cover the stone thrower in a wave of sympathy

Or worse


Stone throwers don’t want words

They want to be heard

Listeners listen

And now I’ve learnt the difference

My sincerest apologies for the times in which

I have got this wrong

As a writer the first thing I reach for is words

Sometimes they just aren’t very useful though

5 thoughts on “Tone deaf – Hearing vs Listening

  1. Great thoughts and a lovely work! And you are absolutely right when you say that some people only want you to listen, they don’t want words and the metaphor of the lake is a great one for it really helps you visualise the situation quite clearly.
    All the best, greetings and wishes for a lovely weekend!

  2. I’m guilty of finding words that relate to the tellers story so they don’t feel so alone. Sometimes I find WAY too many words to be helpful. There’s a word surplus store in my brain and I let go of inventory at the most inopportune times!

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