Cinfulcinnamon's Blog

~~~Interpretive Listening~~~

Posted on: November 4, 2010


  ALL of us are guilty at one time or another of “selective” hearing.  Sometimes it comes from hoping or wanting to hear someone tell you what you want to hear.  If you have been hoping for good news, or waiting to find out something bad; the way we “listen” can determine the outcome of what we hear.

     How many times have you gotten something wrong, and yet swore that you had heard it the way it was meant?  On the other hand; how many times have you explained something to someone, only to find out later that they had not understood it the way you meant?  In today’s world of instant communication, and social media we have a greater than average chance of the message being screwed up.  And sometimes, no matter what we do to try to fix it, the damage is done and lives are affected.  

     Ever told someone  you “wanted to be just friends” and they heard, “we will be friends now and more later”?  You know what you meant, but they heard what they wanted to hear.  Ever been texting someone and what you’ve said (trying to be brief) has been misinterpreted and your day has gone to hell in a handbasket because of it?  Chatting online with someone and they read the wrong thing into it?  And all at once, you find yourself staring at a closed chat window?  I can’t begin to count the number of times that has happened to me.  And it’s all because our feelings, and our body language, as well as the inflections in our voice don’t come through when we are typing or texting.  I have been told that I write the same way that I talk.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but I’d like to think that at least I make myself clear.  But even that doesn’t happen with the regularity that I would like.  Many times I’ve been sent messages from people  I was sure really knew me, and my intentions, saying that I had somehow hurt their feelings, or made them angry.  I was sure that I had taken care to say what I meant, re-read it to be sure, sent it and felt good about it, only to be told I had been mean or nasty. 

     I come from the computer age where the first computer that I had was when I was well into my 30’s.  It was a small Mac and I was using AOL 2.5 or something like that.  A LONG time ago.  Back when they had (probably still do, I don’t know) chat rooms where you met and talked with people.  It was awesome.  I met someone there that I ended up spending 4 years with.  On the other hand, the internet was also one of the causes of the breakup of that relationship.  Because I was able to connect with someone I knew from back “in the day” and we re-connected through  So, there is good and bad with all the social media.  But it still all comes down to the human element.  And how we view and listen to the things we are “told”.  Told meaning….written to or spoken to.

     For me, it all boils down to this:  Right and Wrong are black and white.  The grey area is where interpretation takes place.  This is where the message gets lost or screwed up.  How we justify what we hear, or what we do is based on our belief in right and wrong.  What comes from one person to another is based solely on the frame of reference and core beliefs that the speaker has.  How we hear what is said is based on our core beliefs.  If you believe the glass is half full, you will try to see the good in what is said.  If you believe the glass is half empty; you may think that everyone is out to get you, and do you harm.  And if you are like me, you will look to see if there is ice in there, because that will mean I need to take a closer look at that glass….LOL

Keep an open mind, and an open heart.  But keep your hand on the doorknob !




2 Responses to "~~~Interpretive Listening~~~"

My half-full glass is always better with salt on the rim.

That’s MY kind of glass too Grace !!

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Goofy Me

I am: an Air Force vet, Mom, sister, friend, Lifestyler, and all-around smartass with a heart of gold. I have lived all over the far East and learned many things about people and cooking, art and true value. I like to share my experience with the rest of the world. I will be the most loyal friend or most annoying enemy you've ever known. Honest to a fault. My life has not always been easy, but it has never ever been boring.

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