I wish I were a better listener

United States
December 23, 2011 4:30pm CST
I'm not a very good listener. I don't remember what is said to me. While you are talking to me, it might not be registering. It doesn't happen all the time, but I noticed when I am listening to my daughter talk to me, her mouth is moving, but I've not heard a word she said. I hear her, I guess.. but the words don't mean anything. The words don't stick in my head and don't mean anything. I have to have her start all over again to tell me, and then I still might need to ask a question to two to get what she is saying. I thought I had Alzheimer's disease but the neurologist and psychiatrist said I didn't have it. Is there anyone here in mylot here, that has similar problems? You try to listen, but the words don't register? Please share your thoughts.
2 people like this
13 responses
• United States
23 Dec 11
Yes this sometimes happens to me. In my case I am usually in the middle of something so I am already distracted or my thoughts are racing around in my head & try as I might I just can't concentrate on whats being said to me. I'm sure that you & I are not the only ones this happens to. I bet a lot of people have a hard time listening to a conversation just because everyone seems to live such a busy lifestyle nowadays. There is always something we ought to be doing, appointments we need to keep, shopping that needs to get done....etc. etc.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Dec 11
Yes, and the inside dialog that happens in my head when I’m trying to listen.. it is so distracting. Like when I’m trying to listen, I have these racing thoughts in my head drowning out what I am trying to listen to.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Dec 11
Stress will do that to you and having way too much on your plate. Have to slow down the thought process and work on one issue at a time. Easier said than done, I know from experience! Good luck!
2 people like this
• United States
28 Dec 11
Hi CookingIsMyPassion! Good to see you again. Yes, you are right. When I have a lot on my plate I seem to have more issues. Today has been a lazy day for me. I have done a lot of reading, did a little crocheting, and watched TV and answered a few mylot discussions. Not much at all… but I haven’t had too many issues today. Did have one episode where I couldn’t talk.. but that was from getting stressed over something about my daughter’s father. I did have to ask a couple of times to follow my daughter on what she was saying… but I caught on really better than sometimes.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 12
Adrian sometimes has to repeat himself because I think I be focused on something else. I always thought it was funny ,but never thought to much about it. I think it will get better now that I am reading this. I will try to focus more on his face while he is talking to me.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Jan 12
Hi Gifts, You mention about looking at Adrian when he is talking will help you listen to him better. I just remembered that I tend to lip read in order to hear people talk to me. If I am not looking at them I will hear talking but it won’t mean anything. Funny, I can hear the TV when it is playing and I’m not looking at it, I’m mylotting. But my daughter says it is loud. It’s not loud to me, it’s just right.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
23 Dec 11
Hi PointlessQuestions, I wouldn't worry about it. It has happened to me as well and to others that I know. Blessings.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Dec 11
Hi Pose, I’m so glad that others have this problem and it isn’t just me. It is so frustrating to me that I seem to lose what people are saying to me.
1 person likes this
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
25 Dec 11
You've taken the first steps to be a better listener. You have admitted that you either did not hear, or more probably did not comprehend, what the other person said. You asked her to repeat. T hen you asked for clarification of the points you did not understand. I can only suggest that you need to give your dough her your full attention from the beginning.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thanks.. I give her my full attention, but like I have said over and over in previous responses… I don’t comprehend the words she is saying. Her mouth is moving, but the words don’t mean anything, and I can’t recall what she said to make sense of it. I have to ask and ask until I get the full picture.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
26 Dec 11
Now, I comprehend what you wrote, and it does sound somewhat Alzheimer's disease. I believe that there is is a disease that has those symptoms, but I don't know the name of it. You should see a neurologist.
@taheraa (1547)
• Giza, Egypt
24 Dec 11
Is that happened when another speake with you rather than your daughter, i said that because may be you are very practic man with high level of thinking which get you do not interested for listening to the very young people. I try to train my self for being a goog listener to any one saying. When i am taking with my big daughter, She try to take a lot to transfere some ideas in her mind without giving me a chance for replying her. My understand that listening is a skill which need from anyone to develop inside.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Dec 11
I’m not a man. I’m a woman, and it happens a lot… not with just my daughter. I see people’s mouth moving when they are talking but the words don’t register, and I have to ask again so I can understand. It’s not that I don’t hear. I hear but the words don’t mean anything until I ask them to say it again.
@taheraa (1547)
• Giza, Egypt
24 Dec 11
Sorry for this big mistake, But staying in the same way of your discussion, i think that, sometime when we are so busy,have a lot of problems and have more thinking in our daily events, may be that get out some of our listening concentration.
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
24 Dec 11
Did the neurologist and psychiatrist say anything about this. Or what it could be? How is your hearing, could it be your hearing? I am so glad to hear you do not have Alzheimer's. My Mom had that and Parkinson's. When someone is talking to you, is the TV or a radio on? Sometimes I find that people are distracted when something else is on, or when someone else is also talking besides the person you are trying to have the conversation with. My husband will be totally glued to the TV and not hear anything until a commercial comes on.
• United States
24 Dec 11
My psychiatrist said I have lots of stress and I have a conversion disorder. I’m not sure if the conversion disorder stops me from listening, but it does cause me not to be able to talk. I get aphasia (the inability for talk). Sometimes my tongue gets paralyzed and I cannot form the words.. other times there are just no words in my head, so I can’t think of any words to say… either way is frustrating because I cannot express myself. I’ve also had a conversion disorder where I could not read the written word. It looked like German or something… like a foreign language. This was when I was in choir practice. It happened a lot and I had to quit choir because of it. I was under so much stress that I could not read the words to sing. Not sure if any of that has anything to do with not being able to listen.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Dec 11
I am sure that all of these things can be connected to your conversion disorder. I am sorry to hear that you have to go through this. Have they taught you any techniques to help relieve the stress for you. I hope things will improve for you. It is good that your family knows of these conditions and that they understand. You can always wait until it passes and then let them know what you wanted to say. I am sure after going through something like that, you might not even remember what you wanted to say. It doesn't sound like you are not listening, it sounds like something is going on that is preventing you from hearing or understanding what is being said. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Hugs to all.
@GardenGerty (105464)
• United States
24 Dec 11
That happens to me sometimes. Usually I am paying attention to something else at the time. I was explaining to my son that my brain has been very busy running in circles all the time thinking "where will we get money, where will we get money?" and I am so distracted by my brain doing that that I often miss out on stuff. I also put stuff away safely and lose it. I feel that is along the same lines. It is stress.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Dec 11
Hi Gerty, Yes, Stress for sure. I have lots of stress… there is a lot going on in our lives.. like with my daughter and her father… that just hurts me to the core that he could be so indifferent to her… and while I hate what he is doing to her, I can’t say I hate him because to do so would me I would hate part of my daughter. It stresses me out so much. Other things too.. and when I was doing so much writing for Kevin and managing I was really bad stressed.. a lot was going on.. I couldn’t remember anything, and would forget how to talk.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164450)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Jan 12
hi pointless about a lot of stress. i am a diabetic and stress actually raises our blood sugar level in our bodies for a diabeti stress must be avoided so our diabetes nurse educator taught'us this visualization thing. Imagine you have a giant bubble around you that lets you breathe but stops all stress from getting through to you. You know it cannot get to you so you ignore it as your bubble is stress proof.Silly as it sounds,it really does work try it sometime for yourself.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
5 Jan 12
This happens to me all the time, but not because of any health reasons. Over the years, I've been surrounded by people who like to talk. Maybe it's my quiet nature, but family and bosses around me are always fond of talking. Most of the time, to a point where most of the things they say are not really significant (specially in the case of bosses). So, instead of being overwhelmed by all the information, I've thought myself to be a selective listener. To only pick up what's important. But I fail sometimes. Which makes me want to wish that I was better at it.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 12
I understand what you are saying. I want to pay attention but can't seem to grasp things sometimes. I have to keep asking for clarification.
@Hatley (164450)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Jan 12
hi pointlessquestions I am a lot like that too and no I do not have Alzheimer either. I have heard the words but have not\ really correlated them and have to ask to h ave it repeated. with me I think I have a low level hearing loss for some tones but have not been checked. but again I can listen to my son right in front of em and I understand perfectly but when he talks to me on the phone at times I hear words but am just not getting the meaning until he repeats something again . I dont know what causes this except maybe we just do not hear certain tones and thus the words do not always make sense to us. oooooooooooo
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 12
That's exactly it! It just happened again. My daughter was telling me about what she read in the paper and I heard the words but wasn't following her words. I had to ask her 3 times to repeat herself for me to understand.
@myfb2009 (8304)
• Malaysia
27 Dec 11
Hi Pointless, when i don't have a good sleep, i do came across this type of problem, too. I felt very tired and unable to listen well to what the person who is talking to me. So, most important is, you need to get enough sleep every night, so able to listen well and in details. As in my grandmother's case, it is different although she sleep enough everyday. Because one of her ear-drums is having problem to collect sounds, since she is very old now. The doctor said, it is hard to repair her ear-drum since it is connected to her eye sight. So, the only problem is, we will need to repeat many times whenever we want to tell her something. Happy Christmas holiday to you and family.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Jan 12
Hi Myfb, When I get really tired I can’t focus either. I used to have lots of ear infections as a kid and even as an adult. When I smoked I had lots of ear infections. The doc says I have lots of scaring in my ears. I must not hear well, because my family says my TV is very loud. To me it is not very loud, it is just comfortable to hear. Any lower and I have to strain to hear it, it seems like. Another thing, if I am not looking at the person speaking I won’t hear what they are saying, so I think I must lip read to an extent in order to hear.
@savak03 (6676)
• United States
24 Dec 11
In the case of your daughter it is probably conditioning. When kids are young they often talk about the most pointless things. As parents we get to the point that we tune them out because we have more important things to do or think about. Even after they get older the things that matter to them and that they think are world changing are just not that important in the whole scheme of things. So, now that they are adults and really have something to say we have gotten into the habit of tuning them out. My own daughter gets so mad at me for making her repeat things. In fact just a few minutes ago she was saying something something and I only caught the last few words that made me realize she was talking to me. So I asked her what she had said and she asked me why I didn't listen and what was I doing anyway. I told her I was typing in mylot, watching TV, and listening to the kids outside trying to figure out a way to get on the roof to get a toy they had accidentally gotten stuck up there. So, our minds are regularly doing more than one thing at at time so it is no wonder that we don't hear everything that is said to us.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Dec 11
So it happened to you too… yeah.. I’m usually on mylot.. but I do stop what I’m doing and look at her and try to listen, but the words don’t register. I don’t remember what she says long enough to know what she said. It’s like her mouth is moving, but I’m not comprehending.
• United States
24 Dec 11
On a fun side you may be reverting back to being a teenager. Only hearing what you think is important and drowning out the rest. On a more serious side - you write very well and pay close attention to details when reading articles, research material and through emails. So that leaves one thing open, focus. If you are suffering with a lot of pain or have a lot of stress and things on your mind it can force your focus elsewhere making others think you are not paying attention and not being able to repeat in your head verbatim what was being said to you without realizing that you are doing it.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Dec 11
Hi CookingIsMyPassion! Welcome to Mylot! Yes, you are right.. I do write well when I write, and I am able to focus on my research.. but of course there are times when I cannot write because I am too mentally exhausted. I’m so glad you are here dear one!
@Chevee (5915)
• United States
24 Dec 11
I have a problem with that too. But when this happen to me my mind is on something else while someone is speaking to me. I am not focusing on what they are saying. I guess I really don't be interested. If I were you I would just try to keep my mind on the things that she is saying. Try practicing, they say pratice makes perfect.
• United States
24 Dec 11
It's not that I don't pay attention. My brain doesn't recognize the words. It's hard to explain. I hear the words but they don't mean anything. I have to ask for her to repeat and if I still don't understand I have to ask again.
@Chevee (5915)
• United States
24 Dec 11
I am sorry this is happening to you I pray that you find out the cause so that you can find the solution to the problem. And be healed.