HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Active Listening

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I have a suite mate who can talk about her day for hours. I consider her incredibly talkative and because of that, I sometimes tune her out. Though many times, it does not always work out the way I want it to either. For example, one day I was about to take out the trash when she came out her room to go to her next class. Because she’s still one of my close friends, I agreed to walk down the stairs with her and you can bet that she talked the entire way down. As we got to the point where we should have parted ways, she continued to follow me and talk. At this point I had completely tuned her out and was just thinking about why she talks so much! It was driving me nuts! ‘Didn’t she have class?’ Β Is what you’re probably thinking and yes, she did have class. But oh this must have been too important to text or call or even just stop and continue later. That’s exactly how it always felt too. I always started off paying attention and then as the minutes would continue to go by, I would just begin thinking about other things that were important to me.

She was always venting and talking about her day to me or someone else, that I ignored myself and the things I had to take care of. I felt bad doing it because she was a good friend of mine, but she just….. wouldn’t stay quiet for more than 5 minutes. I rarely even got to talk to her about my problems because by the time she would look at the time and realize how late she was or something she would say ‘oh gotta go bye!’ I know I could have avoided this, though. I know I could have just told her what time it was and she would have probably stopped talking, but I guess to some extent I just felt bad. I wanted to let her vent, even though I never could.

Since then, we have grown closer and I have actually been able to tell her how I feel about her talkative behavior. I even told her that after a certain amount of time, I wasn’t even paying attention. I realized if I would have told her from the get-go, we probably would have been EVEN CLOSER than we already are.

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