Gaining the Confidence to Speak Up When No One is Listening

Today I want to share more of a rambling post about the act of listening. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people speak and why people listen and how these traits differ from person to person. I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker myself. I would always read books as a child, observing the characters and their feelings, and I would start reading people in real life like that too, pulling out all this information from people without ever really having to say anything at all. I think this is where my passion for writing started – I just loved observing how the world works and creating my own version of it.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised the importance in speaking up. I used to be quiet and anxious and this is probably because I let listening become my default – it was the easier option. Now, I’m on my journey to subvert this and becomes confident in the words that I have to say, but one of the things I particularly struggle with is speaking up when I feel like no one is listening.

How many of you have been in a conversation with someone for them to then start using their phone, or diverting the discussion over to something they want to talk about instead?

I find this extremely frustrating, and it’s also kind of rude, but not only this, it knocks the other person’s confidence straight out the window. When someone isn’t listening to what I have to say I start thinking: Am I not interesting enough? Oh, I guess you have better things to do. Why do I even bother?

When it reaches this point, I feel like I might as well be invisible. This is something especially sensitive to me, since I used to feel this way a lot, but I’m sure a few of you out there can relate. It makes you feel like your efforts just aren’t worth the time.

I think the main reason this has become a problem is because of the immediacy of modern society and our want to consume information instantly. It’s as if we must look at our phones as soon as we get a notification. It completely drives us away from normal chats where you just sit and talk with someone with absolutely no distraction. I bet our friendships and relationships would be so much more happy and healthy this way, if we took the time to connect face to face with our undivided attention. I’m lucky to have a few friends and family members who do chat like this with me and I really appreciate it.

It is inevitable that we have moments when we get distracted, because society has taught us to be this way and we don’t know how to live otherwise. I have moments where I’m also not paying attention, and I feel guilty even thinking about it, but I think, due to being a listener by default, I often wish other people would listen to me as much as I listen to them. I love understanding people, giving advice and helping them, but it reaches a point when sometimes I’ve had enough of listening. It reaches a point when, I’m dedicated to having a conversation without phones or any distractions, but the other person just won’t match that, or I have something to say, but no one will listen to it for more than a  minute.

It seems that in society we overlook the power of listening. I wish that listening could be taught in the same way that we are taught to speak up for ourselves (for I was always told off for not speaking at school, but never praised for listening well). After all, both talking and listening go hand in hand.

If everyone is talking, then what is the point of talking at all?

What do you think about the act of listening?

Let me know in the comments below!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

20 thoughts on “Gaining the Confidence to Speak Up When No One is Listening

  1. I agree with every single point! I think that phone addiction really is a big problem, and like you said, we have this immediacy and instant gratification need, to check notifications as soon as we get them. I also get really annoyed by people that are always on their phones, when I’m trying to talk to them – it’s just so rude! But, sometimes, I catch myself also being that person, so I try to put my phone in my bag or jacket, so it’s out of the way and I’m not tempted to look at it. Speaking up for yourself is a skill, especially when you have mostly been the listener, but with people that actually care, you don’t have to fight for your turn. Great post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I try and do the same – putting my phone out of my eyeline so I’m not tempted to check it – and it helps a lot. I think I’ve become used to using my phone as almost a “safety net” when I’m standing around and want to look like I’m doing something, so I’ve been trying to just sit with my thoughts a lot more often and not care what people think 🙂 thank you so much for commenting! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very good post. I like your writing style. I agree with you. The art of listening is important. Listening is the best way to understand a person. I always get angry at some people who doesn’t care to listen to others. Either they play their phone while the other person are talking to them or cut the person’s conversation. This makes them don’t understand other people well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is all so true! I’ve always been a listener too but when I found myself breaking out of it I soon began to realize what people were willing/bothering to listen and it allowed me to see who actually cares. Great post! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loved this post! very insightful, honest and you raise such good points.

    when I’m in the presence of people, where it’s planned time to spend together or they’re trying to communicate or have a discussion with me, I stay away from distractions. we got to learn to live in the moment and make memories and feel emotions. unless it’s an emergency, checking socials, replying to messages, checking your feed ect ect can all wait till you’re alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! Most of the time we feel like responding immediately is necessary, but it’s only when we disconnect from our phones for a long period of time that we realise we haven’t missed anything at all. And why seek out connections when you can connect with those in front of you? Thank you for commenting – I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a good post & it’s so unbelievably true! With a lot of my friends it’s got to the point where having a phone in hand constantly is normal…almost like the phone has become the friend that I can’t compete with. When I find myself on my phone in the company of others I’m always aware that my attention is divided so even if I’m looking up and nodding and engaging in conversation it’s not the same as putting the phone down and truly taking time to care about what they have to say. It’s really easy to feel disheartened if you feel like someone doesn’t care about what you have to say, especially on a down day. I’d say I’m a person that tries not to be ruled by my phone & a lot of my friends will agree that I’m a slow replier..but I guess it’s something I kind of pride myself on because it means I’m just doing my thing in the real world. With all this in mind I feel like it makes it even more amazing when you meet someone who just gets you and shares your values. When conversation is free-flowing and reciprocal and both people have an equal part in talking and listening and phones are out the window I think the best connections are made and that is something worth living for. So glad you wrote about this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you agree! It’s much better to say “give me one minute to check this” if it’s super important and then after that put it away and listen fully, rather than nodding along whilst you do it. I’m actually trying to be more of a slow replier, which sounds odd, but I want to have more space between my phone. If I’m out and about I don’t really look at my phone much or reply anyway so I’m glad about that.
      Thank you so much for commenting! I agree so much with your last point – those are my favourite kinds of conversations, when it’s just people in a room and nothing else and yet you still feel engaged by everything that’s being said 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What an amazing and truthful post! I am so guilty of always picking up my phone as soon as I see a notification. I’m definitely going to try and start listening more – not just hearing but actually listen. Thanks for a great post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a great post and so true!. So many times I have been talking and literally, I would stop in the middle of my story and the person next to me will not even notice I stopped talking for been looking at their phone. We are losing awareness of ourselves in the present. Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The same thing has happened to me too! It really knocks your confidence. Living in the present is something I’m trying to do a lot more of lately 😊 thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts 💓

      Like

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