You smell with your nose
You see with your eyes
You feel with your hands
You taste with your tongue
You think with your mind
You feel with your emotions
Wow, how the senses glisten!
Oh, You hear with your ears too, BUT
You must know how to listen
Burt and Gurt had been a couple for a few years now and they were pretty happy and content. Burt was really busy and lately Gurt had not seen much of him. He was always saying, “Gurt, if you need anything, just say it; just let me know.” Well she was really thirsty and needed something to drink.
So the next time Burt came home she said, “Burt I really need a glass of water.” Burt smiled and immediately went out and bought Gurt a bouquet of flowers. Gurt was really pleased and thanked him profusely. Burt went on his merry way.
Gurt was a little confused, but after a while she asked him again, “Burt I really need a glass of water.” Burt kissed her on the cheek and went out and bought a beautiful new dress and some shoes. He was so pleased with himself. Gurt was appreciative, but wondered if she was expressing herself the right way. Anyway a few weeks later Gurt communicated to Burt again, with more clarity, that she needed a drink of water.
Burt being the enthusiasts he was he went out and bought her a brand new diamond ring. The fourth time she asked it was a mink coat and the fifth time it was new furniture.
One day Burt came home and found Gurt sunk down in one of their big chairs. “What’s wrong with you, Gurt?”
“Burt, I’ve asked you for a drink of water several times, but you haven’t gotten it yet. I’m thirsty.” Burt blew his cool.
“Oh my goodness, woman, you are never satisfied. I bought you flowers, clothes, jewelry and everything else. What more do you want?”
“A glass of water.” Gurt said gently.
“You are always complaining! Nothing I do is right or pleases you! You know how much I spent on trying to make you happy! Do you know how hard I work?” While he was talking Gurt slithered out of the chair onto the floor. When he noticed, he ran to her side. “Gurt! Gurt!!” In a panic, he called Relationship 911. They asked him what happened. He told them the whole story, then desperately asked, “….what should I do?”
They shouted through the phone, “GIVE HER A GLASS OF WATER!!”
Burt finally got the message.
Listening is a skill and too often people don’t pay attention to what is being said and misinterpret the message being conveyed. You must understand the message from the other person’s perspective.
That person that is frustrating you and accusing you of not listening may be right. You may have the Burt syndrome and a Gurt problem.
Simple solutions: 1) Repeat what you heard and then check with the person to make sure you understood what you heard. 2) Don’t interrupt when they are talking and don’t spend the time thinking about what you’re going to say. 3) If they are talking about something you’ve done, don’t defend - keep listening no matter the topic – it’s about the person talking not you.
Listening is a “love” skill and one of the greatest gifts you can give to any relationship.