Listen with your heart

listen with your heartI need your advice. One of the things I’ve learned since starting this blog is it’s just as much important to understand what doesn’t make you happy, as what does make you happy. I also know that sometimes you just have to Let it go, and channel your energies into something positive instead of focusing on the negative.

Last week we spent the evening with a group of people we see often and are close to us. It was a nice night but it occurred to me at the end of the night, they didn’t ask a single question about my work, what we’ve been up to lately, or a big trip I’m taking in a couple of weeks. It really hit home when we got up to leave and not a single person said “Have a great trip” even though they knew they wouldn’t see me before I left.

I’ll admit I was a bit hurt. This same group of people have stated on many occasions (including that night) that they are way too busy to read my blog and have never read it.

For those of you who do read this blog, you’ll know I often post about my family. I know there’s lots of people out there who won’t like what I post and who don’t get this blog and I’m okay with that. But I would have thought people close to us might check in from time to time if for no other reason than to see what my family is up to. To blatantly dismiss it and show no interest is bizarre to me and frankly a little hurtful. Since they’ve told me many times they don’t read it, I don’t have to worry about them seeing this post.

Dave and I had an interesting conversation afterwards about the art of conversation. I observed that it seems people don’t truly listen anymore or take an interest in what others are doing. He agreed and told me that to this day, a close co-worker has still not said “sorry for your loss” or acknowledged in any way the death of his mother this February.

There’s a funny little column in the Toronto Star called The Dating Diaries. Each week, someone goes on a date with a person they met online, then describes the date and rates it out of 10. I’ve noticed a theme in these columns. Often the person writing the column rates the date low and says that the other person talked about themselves the entire time. No second date.

Dave blames social media for the narcissistic society that we have become. We post what we’re doing every minute of the day on Facebook and bloggers like me take to the net in a never-ending stream of self-gratification. We are living in selfie age. I agree, but I also think social media is a great way to keep in touch with those you might not be able to see, support people, and engage and share in conversations.

So, dear readers, now it’s your chance to weigh in on the debate and give me your advice. Am I unrealistic to expect people to take an interest in my life? Have we stopped listening with our hearts? And do you think social media is to blame or are we just so busy in our lives we’ve stopped listening with our hearts and caring about what is going on in other people’s lives?

This week’s #HappyAct is to leave a comment to help me understand and to actively reverse this trend by listening with your heart. Make a conscious effort to stop what you are doing, shut your mind to distractions and completely focus on your conversations with people and ask about what’s happening in their lives.