listening is a lost art.


     I remember as a young kid trying to figure out why my grandfather was always yelling. It didn’t matter what subject he was discussing or if it was a simple question like “can you get me a glass of water”? I finally got my grandmother to disclose the fact that she thought he was hard of hearing. He also would over talk anyone around him who was trying to have a conversation, simply because he couldn’t hear them. Once I understood the problem, I started yelling when I talked to him since hearing aids were out of the question because he didn’t think he had an issue. It seems that a lot of individuals that are on TV now with talk shows or news programs have my grandfathers problem with one exception, they don’t have a hearing problem! They shout, and over talk any one in their path.

     When did yelling become so popular. Oh, not everyone does it. But a great many do. Listening and responding thoughtfully to what someone is saying is fast becoming a lost art. It seems much more important to get your two cents in even if it doesn’t make much sense. A couple of weeks ago I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher and it was virtually impossible to understand what anyone was saying due to the constant interruptions from the combined guests. Whenever I watch Piers Morgan and he puts a panel of experts on to noodle on the subject he’s focusing on, I immediately turn it off. It would be informative if they were actually having a debate, but it often sounds like a bar room brawl. Why not hand them boxing gloves at the beginning of the show? Morgan does try to create some order amongst some of the more pugilistic guests, but they simply keep going as if their life depended on it.

    The yelling is often combined with an angry look. So many of these individuals’ faces appear perennially pissed off.. There are a couple of women, one of whom is a lawyer and seems to represent a lot of celebrities, who has combined a strident voice with a snarky look. Is the yelling and angry looks become the norm because in order to get attention today you need to yell? Let’s face it we’re inundated  with information overload and a lot of people are vying for the same audience  I either have to yell louder than everyone else or maybe I should just wear a thong and carry a megaphone. Or just maybe we should go back to being respectful towards one another and stop trying to be the center of the universe.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

This entry was posted in 2014, Listen, Listenning Skills, Loretta LaRoche, Real People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to listening is a lost art.

  1. I quite agree, it is annoying to hear all the yelling on TV. It is the same with audiences, they do not just applaud…they feel compelled to scream at the top of their lungs, not to mention everything seems to require a standing ovation. Most of these acts do not come anywhere near being special enough for this fake adulation.

  2. Loved this article, Loretta. My boss has a friend (we’ll call John) who was at a dinner for high school teachers. John sat by another teacher who proceeded to talk his ear off about everything and anything, never once asking any questions of John. When the evening was over, the other teacher told John that he had thoroughly enjoyed his evening, and what an interesting person John was. John told my boss he literally did not get a word in edgewise. That is how important a good listener is! 😉
    Often, I’ll find myself wanting to help out a person who’s talking to me by finishing their sentences for them. It’s been a long haul, but I’m really trying to listen until they’re finished, and then maybe toss in a thought or two.

  3. gypsy says:

    “There are a couple of women, one of whom is a lawyer and seems to represent a lot of celebrities, who has combined a strident voice with a snarky look.”
    Gloria Allred? 🙂
    The yelling gets me irritated even when I agree with what is said (McLaughlin on PBS)
    The constant interrupting is so bad, I turn the channel too! The other one I can’t stand is Thom Hartman (
    ” I either have to yell louder than everyone else or maybe I should just wear a thong and carry a megaphone.”
    Then they may be too busy looking at you to listen 😀
    What happened to me the other day, I was talking to a friend about something very important to me. Suddenly he changed the subject to something really off topic. I showed my displeasure by going silent and paying him no further attention.
    I don’t know which I felt more, hurt or angry.

    Ever watch Cross Talk on Peter Lavelle is even tempered.

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