The Art of Listening - advanced listening skills for men

The Art of listening has very little to do with words. The art of listening is about listening between the lines, so to speak. It’s bad enough for men that women speak a different language. But they lie and exaggerate as well (Ladies, I’m not suggesting that men don’t lie, everybody lies).

They say ‘I never want to speak to you again’. Unfortunately for us men, that isn’t what they mean. They say ‘This is the worst day of my life’ when they mean something like ‘I had a bad day at work’. They say ‘When she said that I just wanted to DIE’ when they mean ‘I was a little embarrassed.’

This is why, for men, the art of listening takes a lifetime to master. A lifetime? Actually it takes much longer than that. Men do and think one thing at once (Quite frankly, it takes ME all my time to do that.). Women multi-task. They do and think several things at once. How they do it, I have no idea. Hats off to all you ladies. It is an amazing thing, and one of the reasons why the battle of the sexes is so unfair.

You ask your lady, ‘Is Sally coming over for Christmas dinner?. This is a simple question. It requires a simple one-word answer, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. But are we poor men likely to get a simple answer? Of course not. The Enemy speaks in code. ‘Sally has started seeing that man at work. He’s married of course. Why are all men bastards? I have to see my brother next week. He’s staying with his mate this weekend…..etc. etc.’ The answer might be in there somewhere, but if it is it is beyond the comprehension of a poor downtrodden man. The lady is multi-tasking, naturally, but how is that supposed to help us?

My mother is staying with me next week, unfortunately. She is better known as ‘The Inheritance’ or ‘The Patio’. Inheritance I should think is obvious. ‘The Patio’ because that’s where we are going to put her when we find the will. Sorry, I digress. The point of this is that she has the most acute hearing I have ever come across. She can hear a pin drop at a hundred paces. I have normal hearing. So obviously she always thinks that my television is too loud. But does she say, ‘Could you turn the television down please?’ No, she says, ‘Is your neighbour in?’ Now, I know my mother reasonably well. I am used to her not saying what she means. I have developed the art of listening between the lines. So when she asks, ‘Is your neighbour in?’ I turn the volume down on the television. My mother would never say, ‘Could you turn the heat on please, it’s cold in here.’ Instead she says, ‘Is it getting a bit chilly outside?’ and I turn the heat on.

Women do this, they don’t say what they mean. Ask your lady, ‘Is it alright if I go out for a drink with my brother tonight?‘ and she will say, ‘Of course, have a good time’. Now this could mean ‘Of course, have a good time’. It could mean ‘I’ve been asking you to put the trash out every day for a fortnight. Will you NEVER put the trash out?’ It could mean, ‘I knew you were having an affair, I bet it’s that bitch from the office’. It could mean anything, quite frankly. The art of listening consists of your hearing the words and then working out what they mean. Get it wrong at your peril. You have to be a mind reader, a trained clairvoyant, an expert on body language, and it helps if you have known the lady in question for five hundred years.

Just one more reason why we poor downtrodden men can never win the battle of the sexes.

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