Conversation is usually a form of communication where we express our minds to others. The conversation goes on interestingly, if there is a mutual understanding of each other’s words. I am not talking about the conversation that is done to discuss the experiences of any scientific study or an experiment or any historical event or any other specific event. I am talking about a general conversation where people speak to each other regarding their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, share their daily interests, talk about their families, their problems and so on.
This article discusses on the Stephen R. Covey’s quote “Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
When you cannot understand the other person’s words or mind or if you misunderstand, you either stop conversing to think about what the person has told you or you would be busy thinking about the way how you could respond. This is one state of mind.
When a person in the conversation makes a statement that is not acceptable to the other one, the other one might feel sensitive enough or come out in a defensive mode. This is another state of mind.
These two mind states of a person, when responding to another person, depend on his attitudes and subconscious data that he has gathered.
What’s this subconscious data? Whatever a person acquires in his mind from a long period of interacting with others gets stored in his mind as conclusions are made, generally about the people’s average response to all the events he has encountered. This gets stored as a data in the subconscious mind, which reminds the person to read, analyze and express, if necessary, whenever the same situation arises again.
If a person is of smooth and calm nature, he uses this experience to keep as a reference and keeps himself from facing any further problems. If a person is of furious kind, he uses the similar data (stored earlier data) of his mind for compiling his own response in a conversation, which was already made. This person will not be able to think and analyze the state of the mind of the other person. The first man with whom this person was talking might have a different state of mind compared to another man with whom this person was interacting. Although the reaction of the two different men are the same, this might have come out from a completely different states of mind. So, it would be unjust to react and reply in the same way to both of them. In this context, it is necessary to first understand the individual on the other side and his statement before we give a reply.
We all know that no one is perfect at conversing properly all the time. The only way by which we can be unbiased and honest in our conversations is by speaking from the state of consciousness or self-awareness. To become conscious about our thoughts and actions, we need to create a certain space between our ego-centric thoughts and our conscious mind (self). Consciousness is the subjective form of an individual and is not represented by ego-centric mind or ego-centric intellect. It is present in everyone and is eternal.
This is easily possible for a person who is self-conscious or spiritualistic. A spiritual person operates his mind from the self-conscious state. It is not necessary for a person to be called as spiritualistic to be able to generate unbiased thoughts. But, having such thoughts mean that the person is self-conscious. It is not easy for everyone to be self-conscious at all the times, but this is the only permanent solution for a person to have unbiased thoughts all the time as it is the neutral state of mind without any prejudices.
Let us now discuss the average mental state of a self-conscious person, or a highly positive person, or a person who has the tendency to forgive others most of the time. When a person is loving, soft-spoken, has strength to perceive almost every situation positively, and forgive others even though they hurt him in many of the situations, tends to speak with others consciously in a pleasing manner. He generally does not give instant replies as he enjoys the conversation with everyone he would like to meet. Sometimes, . The conversation flows smoothly, and the self-conscious person will be able to RESPOND rather than REACT to the words of the other person. He will be able to listen to the other person by understanding and analyzing what is said by the other person. If he gets to learn anything from others, he accepts what he learnt, or he will just leave the matter. In this process, , if the person says something that is irritating to him. But, not many people can always be self-conscious in their life journey. A person following a strict spiritualistic discipline only can have a neutral mind that operates from self-conscious state. So, we cannot expect many of the people to behave in this manner.
Generally, when a person starts the conversation as an argument, the intent of that person will be predominantly to make sure that his words will win over the other person. In this case, he always tries to defend every statement of the other person with whom he is talking to. Most of the people will be very egoistic that they do not want to see anything that is there for them to learn from others. They feel that they are very knowledgeable and sufficiently wiser. Rarely would people like to see this world, nature and everything and everyone around them, as the opportunity of learning. The challenge of facing the bitterness in the world and turning it as an opportunity to grow up is less acceptable for many people.
So, a resentment towards the world and other people around is a state of mind which is experienced when a person encounters a hurt or a rejection or a failure. With this state of mind, he intends to just give a reply and not understand the other person who tries to convey his feelings to him using good words. These good words appear to be burdensome for the former and he tries to argue by digging evidences that are misunderstood entirely by himself. He neither can understand his own situation, nor can understand the other person who is trying to help him come out of the situation. This is a circumstance where the intent of the person is only to give reply and not understand anything whatsoever.
A person who wants to converse in a wise and a better way must first listen than talk, especially with the people who are scholarly and cultured. Giving instant replies without understanding will never work, unless the conversation was done for no purpose. By being in the self-conscious state while conversing, anyone can gain the power of giving the reply by understanding the other person rather than with an intent to just give a reply.