I have to agree with Kathleen T. Talvaacchia that real listening is really hearing and understanding the other at a deep level. It is easy to think we are listening when we’re not. This can happen when we’re preoccupied with our own affairs and needs and/or not interested in the other person or what they’re saying. Sometimes it might be better to let the other person know this is not a good time rather than pretending to listen and not hearing. If our ear is really needed at that time, let’s pray for focus on and love for that other person, and work on really attending so that we can hear at various levels, understand, and empathize. Talvaacchia wrote:
Listening demands attentiveness to another, an active participation in what that person is revealing. But the goal of listening is not hearing but to understand. . . . When we listen deeply, we can begin to comprehend another.
Loving God, Loving Neighbor