How to become a better Listener

I have a ringing sound in my ear. It is very irritating, it is like your mom or wife constantly trying to tell you something. The ENT doctor says, my ear canal is blocked because of the cold. It is the most ridiculous health issue, but I had worst, so I might as well accept this one as another feather in the cap.

This sickness of mine, medically known as tinnitus as made me think about the psychosomatic factors. It is now well established that there is a link between our mind and body. There is an entire branch of psychoneuroimmunology that links some auto immune disorders from Multiple Sclerosis to IBS to your mental stress. Enough of cutting edge medical science talk!!

Do I have a listening problem?

I met a acquaintance the day before, and I realised I was talking a lot of my issues. I was so focussed on using him as a sounding board that the entire conversation felt a bit surreal. My fears, my irritation and his defence and guard let me feel that the conversations shouldn’t happen in this manner. I cannot use every person I meet as a sounding board and expect to gain resolution for my problems. No wonder I have problems connecting to other people. I am forever trying to get things go my way.

How do I become a better listener.

I have decided that next time, I feel somebody really wants to talk, I am going to drop all my projections and just let it be. I will just be a mirror reflecting what the other person wants to hear from me. It may be praise, compassion, empathy or criticism.

Do you want to talk?

Why I choose fun over connections.

I feel all doors are closing or more like the ceiling is going to collapse. Can one open doors without experimenting with Psychedelic substances? Health issues, financial problems and no relationships, yes this couldn’t look worse. But in spite of all this, I manage to have a lot of fun each and everyday.

Yes, fun all alone. I really don’t see myself in other peoples company. I feel the work I am doing though not paying, but it is one of the things which keeps me connected to other people. Also, inspite on my ADD (attention deficient disorder) , i have been doing the same thing for almost 10 years.

I haven’t changed profession or the line of business, though I have taken some freelance assignments to pay the rents. I have managed to stick it out. Also I am having a lot of fun doing my core work.

Is it OK to have fun working?

One potential business partner told me “Manoj, You seem to be having lot of fun, doing what you and that is a problem”. On prodding further, he indicated, that I was not focused on making money, but focused on having fun and this is the reason for my dire financial state of affairs”. But then you cannot really expect something radical from an MBA graduate.

Different school of thoughts on Fun@work

Some say, be professional, don’t have fun. Others would say, have fun, do what you love and do your best, money would follow. I chose to follow the other line of thought for my professional life.

Being serious means you gain your power from manipulating others, some day you will find your match and you will be ousted from your vantage point and left powerless. If the source of your power is outside of you, it is matter of time till your luck run outs.

But if you analyse the “fun” part without the context of space, it could be a valid point

I was talking to my young 18 year old friend, she said that she only has people in her life whom she feels strongly connected to. This hit me out of nowhere. In fact, i realised that the only reason she is talking to me or is connected is because she feels connected to me, while i was thinking I have a right to her life. (She has no obligation as such).

The other thing, which made me realise is I have never chased deeper connections. I have always preferred people who are fun to hang around with. I have never judged or evaluated if i feel a deep sense of connection, the idea of connection never crossed my mind.

If you are in it for fun, the problem is sooner or later you get bored and have to move on and meet other people. The problem is replacing people is darn difficult. You cannot replace your school best friend or college buddy, when the fun runs out.

So why the fuck do i chase fun

Fun is a way for me to not deal with life’s real problems, it is a coping mechanism, which has become a addiction. I don’t know how to make new relationships or mend the broken relationships from my past. I don’t know how to make more money, I don’t know how to make people believe in me and follow me.

I am very incompetent at the practical things of life. So the only thing i can do is have fun. Are you up for some fun? Lets have fun!!!

A smile to the rescue.

When two ego’s collide, there is bound be destruction. Inspire of having the best of intentions for each other, we may end up seeing the end of relationships.

In our overwhelming need to always be right, we might do a wrong to a precious friendship or a relationship. It is extremely difficult to change our opinion on what is right & wrong, but a smile is very easy.

It you want to put a point with all the force behind it, say it with a smile, If you need is swallow other’s opinion which you still dont agree on, swallow it wilt a bigger smile.

This is IIfe lesson I learnt today.

I am not alone, mera pass community hai!

I am alone – This is stuck in my head. It is not that I am the only one who thinks this way. In a break up scene IRL – I tell my ex “ Why do you bother, go and live your life, BE HAPPY” She replies “ Because you have no one”. This temporary weakness of my ex during the break up and her statement “because you have no one” ricocheted in my brain several times.

It does every single day. Every single day, I am reminded on my aloneness. My alone ness is compounded by the fact, that I reject all tribes who try to adopt me. Recently an old friend asked for a number he said, this Whatsapp group is like family. I felt “oh my God, I so want to belong to some group, some place where there are people who accept me.” By the evening, I messaged him, that I found the group very distracting and I am leaving it.

## Community Man not a tribes Man

Whatsapp groups are really not my scene. I do run some community handles. Some of the community member on social media consider me their hero. When on occasion I met them, they have confessed they are in awe of me. This was my Super star moment!! It is another case that they left disappointed, as they found me a bit cold perhaps.

### Community is a loose knit group vis-a- vis Tribe

In tribe there is lot of solidarity with loyalty being the key component. You should be able to kill for a tribe. Community is more of people who agree on certain aesthetics. It is more loose. Community is more harmonious.

The question I am grappling is, will I have ever be able to part of a family?

Help me by adding me to a Whatsapp group.

How to invite someone out

Does your social life suck?
Do you wish you had more friends?
Do you hate going out for a movie or a dinner alone?

Yesterday, someone complained that I had ignored her invitation to meet up last time she was in India. So I got thinking on why I avoid people.

So here is what happens?

The lady had asked me out on Twitter. The interaction was so casual, that I chose to ignore.

Another Case Study

A guy messaged me on Twitter, he is coming to India and how about catching up. I like to meet foreigners as one get’s to learn different perspective of life.

So he chooses a High end bar and I land up at the place. I fell in to a meeting trap here.

1) I wasn’t given a choice of the meeting place.
2) I didn’t know, who is going to foot the bill.
3) In case it is dutch I would have preferred to choose a less pricier place to meet.
4) I didn’t have any idea if the drinks would be followed by Dinner.

When one is in a budget mode and pinch every penny, this kind of vague invite can cause heart burn.

So I would preferred to be told

1) What is the plan?
2) What about food?
3) If it’s dutch, I need to see if our expectation and aesthetics align.
4) I love to eat cheap, but classy. (That’s a bit of a problem).

I generally don’t ask people to meet. I am too happy being a loner. I don’t really miss friends or company. But I certainly don’t like to sound rude and turn down invites all the time.