The difference between hearing and listening.

The difference between hearing and listening.

When someone tells you a story, do you truly listen? Do you hear what they have to say just to respond. Or do you hear what they have to say, to truly hear them?
There is a difference between listening and hearing. Not the action of it. That’s the same thing. But its what you do with the action is what differs.

Hearing, is just that. Hearing. You can hear the sounds. You can hear the words. If someone asked you to repeat after them and copy their sentence, you could. Because you heard what they said and you have the ability to recall and reproduce the same sentence.

When you hear someone, you can acknowledge that what they have said has registered with you. But has it really taken itself and saturated your being? What they said, has it resonated with you? If you chat to someone at 8am, and at 8pm you cannot for the life of you recall what they told you.. you at 8am that morning, were hearing. You weren’t listening.
Listening. Listening is something very different. Listening allows you to take the sounds you heard and imprint them in a space of your choice in your mind. Listening allows you to take what you heard, and process it. Play with it. Mull over it. Simply, to understand it.

What you should recognize is that you have the ability to switch between the two. Based on the value you put on the individual, and the respect you bestow upon them, allocates whether you hear or listen to them. That young guy in the office kitchen, yes, you hear him. He’s angry about some client being late or something… But your parents, yes, you listen to them.  They don’t appreciate it when you don’t call them when you say you will. Whether you love, respect, admire or feel motivated but someone, and at what intensity you do, will determine if you hear them, or if you truly listen.

At 8am you can hear your partner telling you ‘something about being late at work or something today’. But, if your value truly lay there, it would be “I will be 10 minutes late as I have the CEO from Cape Town visiting today”.
Instead of “alright honey”. You could have made your partner feel appreciated and heard by responding “Make sure you introduce yourself so he remembers you,” if your value and respect was truly there.The difference between hearing and listening.

At 7pm you can hear your best friend telling you ‘something about their boyfriend being annoying or something’. But, if your respect truly resides with her, it would be “He keeps speaking about this new female college and its annoying”.
Instead of “shit, that is annoying. Sorry”. You could have made your best friend feel ok for feeling annoyed by saying “It’s unsettling knowing there are new faces around your boyfriend, does he know how you feel?”The difference between hearing and listening.

You can see in these very small examples the colossal difference between choosing to listen and choosing to hear. Hearing shows acknowledgement and attention.
Listening, well listening shows care, interest, investment, appreciation, support, concern, love and most importantly respect.The difference between hearing and listening.

If someone chooses to tell you something, from what time their hair appointment is, to when they are resigning from their job, I do want to recommend one thing, and that is to listen. You don’t have to have a response to the person for it to register. Not at all. A lot of the time, you can provide a lot more worth by choosing to listen to understand, rather than listening to respond. And that, often, simply requires silence.The difference between hearing and listening.

What a cluster of us don’t realize is that people place a huge amount of value on what they feel. Feelings are, at our very essence, the guides of our thoughts, beliefs and even actions. If you have the capacity to make someone feel cared for, worth something, appreciated, supported, motivated, heard, loved and respected… then why wouldn’t you? Then again, if it isn’t someone you wish to prioritize, then you don’t have to.The difference between hearing and listening.

To show someone you adore them, respect them and appreciate the time they are giving you, you don’t have to bring the house down with lavish gifts, grand promises and magnificent gestures, you can simply make a small but momentous change in yourself, and that’s from transferring your habit of hearing, to listening. The difference between hearing and listening.

Article you might like: The Gift of Listening
The difference between hearing and listening.
The difference between hearing and listening.


JHBeats is a 25 year old girl from Johannesburg, South Africa, who has a passion for chasing endorphin's found in healthy and happy living.

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