“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

By Sania Zehra. Sania, 21, is a student at Forman Christian College from Quetta, Pakistan. Please read her entry and leave your thoughts and comments below.

What has really the world come with nowadays? Everywhere endless arguments, with nil outcome. Why is it happening? Ever wondered? Let’s create some hypothesis. Maybe because of the stunted or rigid attitude of beings toward each other or maybe the word “no acceptance” has hurdled the sense of understanding, what others try to convey.

Communication has many ways, thoughts can be transferred by words, expressions and body language etc. It all depends on one’s psyche and intention with what they are listening. They are either listening to understand or usually they listen to move to the next point and pass forward without understanding the subject. Keeping in mind nowadays mentality, people usually search for the place or person, where they would have listened with an intent to be understood. The one who has the true intention to understand never face the complication in conquering any of the discussions, conversations and not even in connecting with relations.

It has become the trend to win the conversation without realizing what actually is to be conveyed. They think of only winning the arguments, of only leading the race of becoming an answering machine. The mentality has been developed that, many people think, they can only survive when they would be able to slap or bash the other person by words. This trend is demolishing human relations as they focus more on the reply which has to give rather than on the subject. Mostly they react in the wrong way to the point being said due to the lack of input on processing the words and because of directly responding. Besides that, every being is behaving the same but still, every individual complains about not being understood.

Being a member of the family, everyone experiences irrelevant quarrels. Whether it be husband and wife or children and parents, they usually don’t understand each other’s argument. They create the space of ego in their mind and don’t let the words pass through. In case of husband and wife, where listening and understanding is must, they become deaf and pretend as if the words are too complicated to swallow. Especially in eastern parts of the world, when the wife asks her husband to proceed with her career so he feels ashamed without understanding her intention of helping the family and becoming a pillar. Same is for the child and parents. After listening to the child they still try to impose their views on child and start narrating them their own stories.

Religious discussions never end. The religion which solves the problem of others doesn’t seem to resolve itself. It doesn’t want to resolve itself or people are creating the rigidity? Of course, people are culprits of religion. Personally, I start a religious argument with a question, “will you agree if I prove my point or if mine has a validity of references?” Every time I face blank expressions and no to my question. This is the reason why many wise people have left this quarrel-discussion, as have I, as they consider it as hammering of head on the wall. They usually follow the religion, faith or any of the actions in which they are born and believe in what they have been fed.

In these cases the reason is the same. Everyone has set his or her replies according to his or her belief and doings. They simply listen with the intention to reply the same answer rather than understanding the words, consequences and what exactly has happened this time. They have idealized their intentions in a way that the only husband can only work or contribute, the parent is always right, ones religious belief should always be dominant on other and harlots can never have a pure soul. There are possibilities of proving all of these intentions to be strong which has to be understood by the blocked minds.

In order to avoid all such distractions, humans need to adopt synergy which means compromise and adjustment in any situation. Mindsets need to be changed, everyone should create a bridge and open the ways to pass the words effectively in his or her mind in order to understand the other person. It’s a bitter truth that the gaps and space condense with time and become impossible to break. Life as a whole is a game of intentions when one’s intention is flexible to adjust in any situation, then anything can be easily understood without any hurdle.

Mental intentions need to be changed from replying to the understanding of gestures being conveyed!

35 comments on ““Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

  1. Farwa Sahar on

    Appreciating the persistence you have put into your blog and detailed information you have provided, it’s simply an amazing write-up! ❤️

  2. Mukhlis on

    Sania i really appreciate your effort and though that how u describe all these things
    Many of us thinks as a way like u stay blessed

  3. Faisal on

    I’m still waiting
    When you will write a blog on my topic of interest “sectarianism”
    Well I appreciate your effort.
    And your writing skills
    Keep it up
    Never stop!

  4. Kaynat imtiaz on

    No doubt dear!!it’s an outstanding article ever!!nd it’s the bitter reality of the world…every one tries to reply not to understand…firstly we have to change ourselves then other’s….thn its a perfect combo to change the whole world…GOD BLESS U 💕

  5. Hijjab Zehra on

    Yeah we should change our self. Most of us listen only for reply we didn’t understand the subject.
    .Great work dear.. May Allah bless you with success…

  6. Rukhsar zehra on

    Good job dear.. i agree with you
    . We should change ourself first thn the world will change.. understand and than speak… welldone.. keep it up

  7. Abdul Rashid on

    Yes we must need to change ourselves. Once we feel change in ourselves then the world or society will automatically be changed. Brilliant piece of writing. Although it is a bitter reality of society but i must say a great work Dear. May Allah (SWT) bless you and succeed you in your future endeavours. Aamin!

  8. Muhammad Umer Rashid on

    To understand and to be understood it is necessary to respect and accept the other side of an idea. After reading the whole article, I realized that there are also people like when it comes to sharing a thought. Somehow we all are same in knowing values. May Lord give us the strength to act upon the knowledge we reatain. I appreciate the idea of this whole writting. I will be grateful to read such things in future too.

  9. Taimoor on

    Good writing. Listening for the sake of replying is a process of radical thinking and should be discouraged in ways like this.. Hope to read more text like this from you..

  10. Usman Pervaiz Malik on

    Well a Great piece of writing.
    One Must be ready to accept what is right and must lend a sincere ear to another.

  11. Khuzaima Dar on

    Beautifully expressed. I appreciate you being brave and talking about an issue that matter, and will most likely receive critism from people that are not yet ready to listen. I hopr you continue to spread love with your writing. Much love, God bless.

  12. Eliya zaynab on

    Great article..💕 I loved the idea of you being different.
    Beautifully expressed ❤
    Keep up the good work truth is always bitter 🙂

  13. Aman on

    Every single word that is written reflects the reality. If people start to understand and accept others the way they are the world would be so much better place . U have done a splendid job…so so proud of u : )

  14. Jawi on

    Jeg trodde jeg var den eneste som følte sånt og når jeg leste det tenkte jeg på hva og hvorfor folk har det vanskelig og når folk leser dere og forstår må de alltid høre på de som er Støre en dem og de som er mindre en dem

  15. FARAH naz on

    It’s like a trend since ages,of not understanding what the 2 person is trying to say. It’s really a sad thing cuz we are going on the wrong path which has no end.We better be on a right tract before its too late.Sania it’s really good to khow that u r addressing the situation.May God bless u.


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