The Importance of Listening

The Importance of Listening

Ava Padelford, Editor

Pointless arguments run in one ear and out the other. Words become bursts of noise and your voice isn’t heard. There’s no point in arguing with someone who will never have the same view as you, or someone who isn’t mature enough to listen to your view too. 


Listening is key when having a heated discussion about politics, controversial topics, or just having an argument or conversation. If you’re not going to listen to the person you’re talking to, why have a conversation with them? You’d be better off talking to the wall. 


It takes self control to not yell over someone when you’re having an argument. Oftentimes people become so upset that they want to make themselves heard. Though this is very understandable, it’s not helpful. To have the most efficient argument is to keep your voice low, listen to the other person, and maintain a calm tone. 


The second you become upset and begin to yell is the second the opposing view stops listening. It seems today that people have a hard time understanding that you can’t just yell at people, or tell them they’re wrong, and expect them to agree with your stance. The only way to share your opinion is to calmly present it, and also respect the other views opinion. It’s important to know that you aren’t going to be the person to change their view.


As a young woman, I understand the respect you need to have for others and that sometimes you must respect people’s view, regardless of their stance. I’ve gotten into pointless arguments with people who aren’t willing to listen. Here’s how the conversation went:


Other side- “BLA BLA BLA!”

Me- “I just want to say-”

Other side- “BLA BLA BLA”


This never works. I wasn’t able to share my side and when I did the other person just yelled over me. At that point I just got up and left because I was arguing with a fool. They weren’t a fool because they disagreed with me but they were a fool because they weren’t able to listen and have a two way conversation. Arguing with a fool only makes you a fool. If you know someone isn’t willing to listen it’s not worth arguing. It will only make you more upset and angry with the person. 


Listening skills are very important to have. Once you master this you won’t sound like a whiner kid in arguments. It doesn’t matter the age of a person. An adult over the age of 50 had a full on argument over politics and all I heard was him yelling over the opposing people. It was childish. He knew their opinion on the subject and they weren’t going to change their mind. He didn’t listen to their responses, and continued to shout his opinions which made the argument pointless. 


If you don’t listen and hear what other people have to say then you’re going to sound foolish in an argument. If someone makes a strong statement against you, you take that statement and share why it’s wrong with evidence to support you. You must hold back your anger and be quick to listen. Don’t yell at them or call them names: “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet,” (Proverbs 29:9). 


People often make an assumption about someone based on their tone and their ability to take what someone says and give advice, feedback, or propose an argument. Someone who doesn’t listen won’t give any advice back worthy of being useful because they didn’t pay attention to what the other person said. This is useless advice. It’s like when you share something you’re going through with someone and they give you feedback that has nothing to do with your situation. 


Someone who doesn’t listen will also resist new information every time a fact is brought against them. They may have the fear of being wrong and therefore won’t listen to any truth that makes them look bad. In the sales world, the word “qualifying” means you aren’t going to waste any time on selling something to someone who will never buy the product. Same goes with debates, if someone isn’t going to try to listen, don’t waste your breath. 


Take this past election for example. The presidential debates were chaotic. We had our two candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, debating with one another which eventually turned into an intense argument with name calling and foolishness. Trump would have his time to speak and so would Biden. They constantly interrupted each other and as a nation watching we all saw how ineffective it was. Biden wouldn’t listen to Trump’s questions and he kept going off track because he was caught up in what he believed. They both made mistakes but we can see how the lack of listening to one another took a part in it. 


“When arguing with a fool, make sure the opponent isn’t doing the exact same thing” claimed Abraham Lincoln. 


If you’re going to get yourself into an argument or discussion, make sure you have the right factors for it. Don’t go into it if you aren’t willing to listen. You will look ignorant and no one will take you seriously. Instead, have an open mind to other opinions and be ready to give your opinion with evidence to apply useful information to the conversation.