I don’t think I am close-minded, au contraire. A few years ago, I was telling to a friend that I thought I was too open-minded. She agreed. I’ve changed some of my opinions about radical thinking, but I’m still open to about almost anything.
About the listening part, my post title says what I think most people do. I sometimes wander in my thoughts when I should be listening, but when I do, I get the person to repeat because I consider that whatever someone says to be is important. I don’t think there is anything more I can do more, so I consider this goal completed.
Listening, to some people, is synonymous to waiting that the other person has finished talking so they can speak. Sometimes, I do that. While the other person is talking, I’m thinking about my next argument, my next clever thing to say, the next joke I’ll make. I sometimes plan the whole convesation, steering it the way I want so I can say the things I want to say in a casual tone. Listening, on the other hand, is harder than it seems. The best way is often to repeat what the person you’re talking to just said in your own words, to make sure you understood correctly. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised to see how you were wrong in interpreting some of the things you heard, causing lots of errors in the comprehension of what the person is feeling.
I’m trying to get better at that. My inability to listen is causing me lots of pain these days. My girlfriend and I are fighting too often. I hope this will help settle things with her.