Listening Is Really Hard Because I’m A Selfish Jerk!

I Love My Wife

I Love My Wife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although men and women are complementary beings , the emotional/psychological differences require the daily, mutual exercise of Love: patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness, honesty, respect, in short, loving another as you love yourself. Where I fail miserably: listening. I am a “get to the point” kind of person. Consequently, if someone rambles a bit I struggle to be patient, kind, and respectful by giving them my full attention.
The following is a cliche’:

Wife: One of the clients was really upset today.

Husband [Okay, me]: Oh really, why? ( Did I really just ask “why?”)

Wife: Well, there was some paperwork he was supposed to sign in a particular place but I guess we didn’t make it clear enough, he’s about 75 I think, and his wife is really sweet. They have a couple of kids. One goes to SC and we’re always talking about the Trojans because they’re really big fans of course. But his wife hasn’t been doing too well because she’s had some issues with her kidneys. They might have to put her on dialysis…

Husband [Yeah, fine, me]: [ Not only am I not saying anything I’m actually not even thinking. It’s a little known fact that men can suddenly go into a state of deep meditation during such times and experience oneness with the universe.]

Wife: …So then my boss is yelling because this gentleman is a really big client. Of course when anything goes wrong Jeff goes into a rant because he can’t deal with stress which makes me wonder why he ever went into the business. He’s had three marriages! He’s so materialistic. All he ever thinks about is money and the next Mercedes he’s going to lease…

Husband [Alright! Me!]: …

Wife: …I can’t understand why people are like that. He’s obviously unhappy and stressed out. His wife tells me she worries about his health…

Me [Suddenly returning to my body]: Wait. So why was the client upset?

Wife: Oh. It was nothing really. The client had to make a special trip to the office to sign the paperwork.

Me [ Grabbing a good book]: Oh man, I have to go to the bathroom.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love puts everything else aside and takes a genuine interest in the other person. Wow. How selfish am I?

So unless there is something more pressing (like a fire) that needs to be attended to necessitating the early termination of what men fear as the “grand tour of every thought that is currently populating my head,” the correct response was to put my arm around my wife as we sat on the sofa and recognize that my need to cut to the chase is a symptom of my self-important desire not to have my time wasted. As if “my time” could be spent at that moment in any way more valuably than loving my wife by actually listening to her and allowing her to blow off a little steam.

Really listening is about saying to another person, especially the most cherished, “nothing is more important to me than you right now.” One of the most beautiful qualities of people who are well advanced in the art of love is that when they listen to someone great or small, no one else exists for them during those moments except that person. That is a virtue I strive for.

“So Honey, how was your day?” [During the ride keep both hands on the bar at all times and maintain focus for unexpected turns such as “So what do you think?”]


11 Comments on “Listening Is Really Hard Because I’m A Selfish Jerk!”

  1. John January 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM #

    This is so true. We become complacent…

    • Robert-preneur January 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM #

      Complacent – marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

      What? Me deficient?

  2. Purnimodo January 6, 2013 at 9:44 PM #

    You know.. I once beat the crap out of an old love because he wouldn’t tell me what he was thinking. I am starting to believe he really wasn’t thinking at all.. It’s just.. why the petrified face each time I say “Honey what are you thinking”??

    We call each other almost every other day now. He talks my ears of but I like it. Sometimes the greatest give you can give yourself is being the paper another soul would want to write his story on.

    Nobody really likes to read a book that explains the plot in the first few lines. It’s the journey – likable or not likeable – that matters I think.

    Not easy though!!

    • Robert-preneur January 7, 2013 at 12:16 AM #

      “Sometimes the greatest give you can give yourself is being the paper another soul would want to write his story on.”


      And guys often have that petrified look when suddenly confronted about their far off stare. There are times of course, when you really don’t want to open that door. Many men would rather go lift something heavy and say, “LOOK! MAN STRONG!”

  3. Purnimodo January 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM #

    Also did I mention I am happy you are back to blogging? I am, I am! 🙂 🙂

    perhaps one more


    • Robert-preneur January 7, 2013 at 12:17 AM #

      Ah, yer making me blush. Cut it out. 🙂

      • Purnimodo January 7, 2013 at 3:46 AM #

        Hmmm that one would be a bit painful but certainly goes on the scissors list!

  4. kazmisahib January 7, 2013 at 4:14 AM #


    How sweet, “So Honey How was ur day” 🙂 so cute

    Robert really know how to touch some once heart:)

    Love u so much Man,



    • Robert Lopez January 7, 2013 at 7:24 PM #

      Thanks Kazmi. You’re too kind brother. Hope all is well in Karachi. Is it freezing?
      God bless

  5. Malcolm Greenhill January 13, 2013 at 4:21 AM #

    Thank you for this Robert. I thought it was just me that had problems listening to the most important person in my life!

    • Robert-preneur January 17, 2013 at 5:45 PM #

      Maybe we should start a support group for men, “Guys Learning to Listen.” Big points with the Mrs.! 🙂

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