You’ll Never Wonder Who’s Really Listening To You Again. You’ve been telling a close friend an important story for several minutes. They’re looking right at you. You pause and ask “Have you ever heard her say that?” And your friend answers with “Heard who say what?”.
There you are pouring your heart out about something you feel is important. And at the peak of the story you realize they weren’t even listening. We’ve all had that happen. And we’ve all done that ourselves. But is there a way to know when someone isn’t listening to you, even though they’re standing right in front of you, looking you right in the eye? There are several ways actually…
The first one may seem a bit obvious, however most people see it and dismiss it. It’s a yawn. Not the big one like when you first wake up. It’s the one they try so hard to hide. You’re gonna know this when I describe it, because you’ve done it too.
You’ll see the lower lip indent as the chin pulls inward and down just enough to make it look like they’re going to open their mouth. The corners of the mouth will come inward, then down. The nostrils will flare a bit as they try as hard as they can to keep their eyes from squinting.
Then comes the biggy… the deep breath. As they fight to keep from squinting they look semi-deranged. During that entire process, they aren’t listening.
Sometimes you’ll be talking to someone and realize they’re saying “Uh-huh… Uh-huh… Uh-huh…”. If that’s the case, most of the time, mid sentence, you can throw in “and that’s when the UFO landed and then Elvis and Beyonce’ started unloading crates of Bigfoots right there on our lawn…”
If they say “Uh-huh” during or after that, they haven’t been listening for quite a while.
Another big one to look for is “Mannequin Face”. This is when you know they stopped listening about 2 minutes ago. The eyebrows are up. One is usually just a bit higher up than the other. The mouth is relaxed. Sometimes it open just a little.
Here’s one you’ve probably seen before. They will look at the table and back at you quickly. They’ll look at their phone as well. Then they’ll look at the door. All without moving their head. Just their eyes.
Do that now. Make your eyebrows go way up and hold them. Now, look at the door and look back at your screen without moving your head. Look to the right and look back at your screen without moving your head. It makes you feel kind of strange doesn’t it?
When you see someone doing that, they’re thinking about checking their texts and they’re planning what they’re gonna eat for dinner.
The main thing you can count on when wondering if someone is really listening, is the fact you’re wondering if they’re really listening.
That’s because your brain has probably already seen several things that let it know the person isn’t acting as they should in this situation. So it sends you a feeling of uneasiness that makes you ask yourself, “Is this person REALLY listening to me?”.
If you feel that way, they probably aren’t as engaged as you would hope.