How To Catch the Unspoken

Everyday we give and receive information. Lots of them – via ads, short videos, tweets, chats, posts, books, physical interaction etc. Actually, we are bombarded with much more than we give, and we interact virtually, more than we do physically.

Today, we have traded in the present for virtual reality; we have succeeded in isolating ourselves. It is so easy for you and I to choose our screens over quality time with the people who matter the most, family and friends. We are there with them but not present.

Where we are is the place we are least likely to be.

I am struggling to not be with my phone at meal times. Most times I use it while eating – read emails and surf my social media platforms. I even play games. Word puzzles are my favorite. So when I am racking my brain to solve a puzzle my phone stays with me while I eat.

Experience has taught me that when we are with loved ones, but not present, we miss significantly – great interaction which fosters better bonding. At best, we only hear what is said. Sadly, we fail to listen enough to catch what has not been said.

You see, usually, what we hear more than meets the eyes ears. Much is left unsaid, unintentionally.

This is because we say much more with our actions (body language) than with our voice. Research has shown that over 90% of the meaning of communication comes from what was not said (non-verbal cues).

So you and I must learn to ‘listen between the lines‘.

To do that we must engage our ears, eyes and mind.

  • The ears, to receive verbal communication.
  • The eyes to pick up body language (the bulk of the information)
  • The mind to be present, engaged and process the information.

Do this and you will not fail to catch what has not been said. You will not only experience stronger bonds with family and friends, you will have more fruitful interactions in other spheres.

Though it sounds simplistic, it is easier said than done. But the effort is worth it.

Do this daily, to improve your interpersonal skills, and maintain better relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues.

To make the most of your day, be intentional, catch the unspoken. Everyday.


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Listen Between the Lines
Seizing the Present

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Muse-worthy Quote: Listen To What is Unsaid

Listen enough to catch what has not been said.

JeNom Makama

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Listen, Between the Lines

‘Soft words break the bone’. I always recall with clarity, the day I experienced the truth of this statement, by the Jewish monarch Solomon. It was a few minutes past 10 PM, when my wife stepped into the living room where I was working on my laptop. ’After we said goodnight to each other, she asked,

‘Gem, when are you coming to bed? ‘By midnight I answered.’

She took my right hand in both of hers. Thinking she was about to complain about my habit of turning in late, I steeled myself for a defense. (We have argued about this many times.

Instead, she looked at me wistfully and said in a gentle voice, ‘It’s so nice to go to bed together.’

The bone of my defense broke. Without effort my defense was neutralized. Solomon knew what he was saying.

You see, most nights I go to bed at least two hours after Njeb has gone to bed. The time is spent either working or reading. Though my  wife’s statement hardly came across as a criticism or accusation, it was thought provoking.

I heard, loud and clear, what she did not even put in words – ‘I listened between the lines.’

What I heard her say, with my mind and not my ears is, ‘We hardly go to bed together. I’d love for us to go to bed together.’

After I mulled it over, two days later I informed Njeb that I have decided for us to go to bed together four times in a week. It is not an easy decision, but a critical one.

As a result, I told myself to not bring work home consistently. Also to create other times for reading. These tasks are nothing compared to marital health and bliss.

Everyday, I resolve not to be insensitive like the guy in this pix.

The idea of going to bed together may seem unimportant or not big a deal. But it is. Especially for me, since it means a lot to my wife!

The importance of listening cannot be underscored enough. Particularly where spouses, relatives, friends and colleagues are involved.

Learn to listen enough to catch what has not been said. It is the art of ‘listening between the lines.’ This is one sure way to make the most of your day, everyday.

Learn to listen enough to catch what has not been said.

– JeNom Makama

I have not perfected this ‘art’. No, far from it. But I have resolved to do better than I am doing. Everyday. Day by day,

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