If someone was to go and watch a film, not only would they watch the screen, they would also pay attention to what is being said. On one hand, they will have paid to watch it, and on the other hand, it will be something they want to see.
However, if they were to take their eyes and ears away from the screen and to focus on something else, it is unlikely that something ‘bad’ will happen. The actors that are in the film are not going to feel disrespected, and the people who work in the cinema are unlikely to care.
Having said that, if they were with someone, the other person might wonder what is going on. They might think the other person doesn’t want to be there with them, or that they wanted to see another film instead.
The other person could feel let down, and they might end up thinking about why they even bothered to go with them. While they can feel disrespected, it can be seen as being impersonal.
This is not going to be the same as if someone had a meeting a behaved in the same way. In this case, they are going to need to look at and listen to a real human being, and if this doesn’t take place, the other person is likely to feel disrespected.
If there has recently been a problem, the person who is conducting the meeting might expect them to behave in this way. When this happens, they are not going to be too concerned about how they are responding.
On the other hand, this could be a different kind of meeting, and they will then expect them to show a certain level of respect. As a result, their lack of respect could stop them from being promoted, or it might even cause them to lose their job, among other things.
It could be said that respect is a vital part of a relationship; if it doesn’t exist, there are going to be problems. It could be something that causes a relationship to come to an end, or it could mean that it will gradually decline.
If it declines, it might no longer be fulfilling, and someone might wonder why the other person is still in their life. There is also the chance that it will start to become abusive, and what started off as a small problem ends up becoming a big problem.
When someone listens to another, they are giving them their full attention, and this can be a sign that they respect them. In order for this to take place, it will be important for someone to be completely present.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that they will be acknowledging the other person. They are not thinking about what they are going to be doing after and they are not thinking about what they are going to say next.
If someone doesn’t expect another person to listen to them, it might not matter how another person responds. This could mean that they don’t respect themselves, and then it could be normal for them to experience life in this way.
Yet when someone does respect themselves, they will usually know whether another person is paying attention. They could have the ability to sense if another person is actually listening, or they might have the ability to read them, for instance.
When it relates to the former, they might feel something in their gut, and it is then something they just ‘know’. This is not to say they won’t be aware of the other person’s responses, but it won’t be their primary source of information.
If someone has the ability to read another person’s body language, as well as their facial expressions, it will be something they can’t help but notice. They might also get a feeling that the other person is not really there.
On one side, there is going to be how someone responds when another person is talking, and on the other side, there is going to be how they respond once they have finished. During the first part, it will be important for them to look at them, to keep an open posture, and to be in the moment, for instance.
Through paying attention to what the other person has to say, it will give them the chance to respond in the right way. This may mean that they will end up giving them feedback about what they just heard, or it might just mean that they start to talk about what is on their mind, for instance.
In The Moment
What this comes down to is that there is not going to be one way to respond, and this is why it is important to be present. When someone is in the moment, it will make it easier for them to do the right thing.
The other person will know that they value what they have to say, and this is bound to have a positive effect on the relationship. As a result, they are more likely to listen to them when they have something to say.
Even though someone doesn’t listen, it doesn’t mean they are aware of what is taking place. This could be a sign that they are good at talking, but not so good at listening, and this shows that they are out of balance.
At a deeper level, they might believe that what they have to say is more important than what other people have to say, and there is then no reason for them to listen. If this is the case, it might mean that their early years were a time where they were either ignored, or it may have been a time where most of the attention was on them.
However, regardless of why someone is unable to listen to others, it will be important for them to develop this ability. Although this is something that is unlikely to happen overnight, the impact it has on their relationships will far outweigh the effort they have to put in.
The support of a therapist, coach and/or a support group may be needed here.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.