Life

Lost in Translation: Why We Talk Past Each Other and the Art of Deep Listening

  I attended a friend’s reading group and got to know the people there, and we often talked nonsense together.
  Once, a friend said with emotion: “I have studied psychology for so many years, and the biggest realization is that psychology is useless…”
  He wanted to say more, but someone immediately continued: “Then I think psychology is still very useful. For example, it can make the design of the website more attractive and the product more interesting…”
  The person next to him continued: “Yes, that’s right, when we do training and deal with people, we also need to understand a lot of psychological knowledge…”
  The topic quickly turned to how psychology could be useful, and the discussion was lively. No one could remember why their friend wanted to say that psychology was useless.
  Whether psychology is useful is of course another topic, but this form of dialogue often appears in our lives. It sounds like the person talking is responding to the other person – after all, he is also discussing “whether psychology is useful.” But in fact, he started a new topic. The topic changed from “why psychology doesn’t work” to “how psychology works.” The latter topic was familiar to him, and he expected others to respond to him.
  Why are we reluctant to respond to others, but willing to open up new topics? I think there is some anxiety here. To the person who finds “psychology useful”, “psychology is useless” is a new thing. It challenges our original perceptions, so we instinctively view it as a threat. The revision of the issue may have been in response to this anxiety. This modification is so subtle that sometimes we may not even notice it. However, if every time the new issue is changed into an old issue that we are familiar with, the conversation will become self-talk and the expression will become self-repetition. We may never know why a person who has studied psychology for many years feels that psychology is useless? Did he really think that, or was he just trying to complain? What made him think so? If psychology didn’t work, what did he think did?
  After studying psychology for so many years, I feel more and more that listening is a difficult thing. It requires you to put your stuff down in order to really hear what the other person has to say.
  While eating in the restaurant at noon, I heard a conversation between a couple next to me.
  Wife: “I haven’t slept well these days.”
  Husband: “It’s been hot these days, and people tend to wake up early.”
  Wife: “I’m a little worried about whether my daughter will be able to adapt to daycare.”
  Husband: “Not all children That’s it. It’ll be fine after a while.”
  The wife was silent.
  This is a very common conversation. The wife keeps trying to tell her husband that she feels something is wrong in some aspect of her life, but the husband keeps emphasizing that “everything is normal,” thus closing the conversation. Perhaps the wife’s anxiety is also a new experience for the husband (maybe not new anymore). He has been trying to incorporate these new experiences into his original cognitive framework. He didn’t have time to listen to what his wife said, but he was eager to provide her with some explanations. If the wife tells her husband at this time, “You didn’t listen to me,” the husband may not understand, and may even retort: ​​”Where, haven’t I been comforting you?”
  Criticism also requires curiosity and understanding. What most people do is not criticize, they just try to prove how correct their original ideas are. After all, for many people, proving themselves right is far more important than learning something new.
  A few days ago, I saw an interview with Dr. Wang Jian, the “godfather” of Alibaba Cloud. There was a sentence in it. He said: “Most people’s knowledge structure remains unchanged and they unconsciously incorporate all new things into it.” In the original framework, because it is not painful. As for me, I have been breaking my own knowledge framework and constantly evolving.”
  In fact, the evolution of knowledge is like this, the learning of skills is like this, and the same is true for getting close to and understanding people. Only if you are willing to let go of your own things can you have the opportunity to absorb and accept new things. This is also like death and rebirth. Our thoughts continue to evolve in this process of disintegration and reconstruction.

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