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You’re Not Listening Summary – June 2022

Author: Kate Murphy

Short Summary
You’re Not Listening (2020) highlights the importance of active listening through the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening. It will teach you how to listen in an active and considerate manner and will show you the wonders listening can do for you.
you're not listening
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

So you picked up this book and looked at the title ‘You’re not Listening.’ This led to you thinking to yourself: ‘It’s 2022, everyone is listening to everything. Either through social media, podcasts, YouTube, news transmissions, and live broadcasts.’

But are we actually listening?  With the rise of new media and various forms of transmission, we have provided everyone from the politicians, and celebrities to the local masses with opportunities to speak. But who is actually listening to us? Are we active listeners? Did I listen, understand and comprehend everything my friend  Margaret said to me on the phone the other day. Do I remember what Obama said in his last speech for the presidential campaign? No, I do not. Not because I don’t have a good memory and ability to retain. Just because, well. I was not Listening. In You’re Not Listening, you will learn how to be patient, considerate, and listen actively. You will also get to know that listening not only takes up your time and energy but also gives you several benefits in return. It is a lost skill that needs to be in practice now more than ever. Listening does not need to be hard, it just has to be active and considerate.

You’re Not Listening Key Points

Listening Can Bring You Self-Awareness

Many professions run on the mere skill of listening from therapy, journalism, and military integration to campaign management. Active listening enables us to extract the exact insights we need for our job and it also teaches us many life lessons. Consider this simple example, your friend is going on and on about how his marriage is falling into a rut. You might be thinking to yourself why am I listening to this. God, I would rather be at home watching Netflix. You might try to cut his rant short by giving solutions to improve his marriage. But if you listen and show consideration two things will happen.

First, you will be showing your friend that you genuinely care about his feelings and happiness. Second, you will at least learn a thing or two while listening to him. Things you might want to do when you are in a serious relationship and things you should absolutely ignore. With the perspective you had before, you would have given the same amount of time but you would have gotten up from there feeling irritated. With this new perspective, you will be returning home after making a friend feel better hence strengthening your bond with him and you will also have some useful insights.

Avoid Closeness Communication Bias

‘I am avoiding him because I know what he has to say.’  This sounds familiar, right? The sentence above summarises closeness communication bias. When we know someone and have a bond with them we start assuming what they will have to say. In our head, we make answers to the questions we have. We have lived with them for years, heard them multiple times, shared tense situations, and have had arguments. So we know how they will react and what they will say. Thus we avoid the conversation.

Just like my couple therapists and psychologists, Kate Murphy advises her readers to not assume what their close one will like, do, or will say. Just because you know someone does not mean they will act in the same way every time. They are not robots programmed with a certain type of input so that the same output will be generated. Most of the time people don’t listen because they think they already know what the other person will say. To form strong relationships you need to ask questions and communicate openly. The past is not an excellent guide for the future.

Ask the Right Questions in the Right Way

If you want to gain complete insight into a conversation you will have to learn the correct way to ask questions. Just floating a random question in the conversation might help the conversation to carry on but you will not be gaining anything useful unless you ask the right things in the right manner. Your response to their situation can be of two types: Shift or Support.

 When you just want to support you can show your support. For example, if a friend’s mother passes away, you cannot use a shift response and tell her about the weather or news. Instead, the considerate way will be to use a support response in which you may appreciate her mother or tell her how sorry you feel for her loss.

You’re Not Listening Quotes

While people often say, “I can’t talk right now,” what they really mean is “I can’t listen right now. –Kate Murphy

“People in long-term relationships tend to lose their curiosity for each other. Not necessarily in an unkind way; they just become convinced they know each other better than they do. –Kate Murphy

You’re Not Listening Book Review

You’re not Listening is filled with examples from very fun people including a CIA agent, a bartender, a radio producer, and a top furniture salesman. Murphy’s quirkiness is evident through these people who are excellent listeners and we as readers have a lot to learn from them.

This book will teach you to accept isolation, quiet, and the gifts of listening. It is balanced with anecdotes and research so that you feel engaged and stay informed at the same time.

To Whom I Would Recommend You’re Not Listening

  • To anyone who is frustrated with being labeled as rude just because they prefer to stay quiet and listen.
  • The 13-year-old who does not know the right responses to keep the conversation going on.
  • To the forty-three-year-old who cannot stop talking in between the meetings and hence misses all the good points made by the other employees.

Link: https://amzn.to/3zX28kx