Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


Are We Really Listening or Just Hearing?

Whether it is during class, at home, or during an argument, as young adults we are constantly being told to listen and pay attention.

Most of us will automatically respond that we are already listening. However, how many actually realize what is being said to us? Not too many have the ability to acknowledge the difference between hearing and listening.

Hearing is defined as "the faculty or perceiving sound." Listening, on the other hand, is defined as "to give one's attention to a sound." Google could not be any more accurate at describing the two.

As human beings, we do not have the choice of hearing. If we were lucky enough to be born with healthy hearing, we cannot control what sounds make it to our ear drums and which don't. Nevertheless, we do control which of those sounds we recognize and which we do not.

The art of listening is a wonderful one that not all are privileged to have, and those who do, do not always appreciate it. Take listening to music for instance. How many of us can have our day completely flipped because of the lyrics of a song?

Listening gives us the opportunity to relate to life in a sense that is unexplainable even to us. It gives us a chance to express our emotions when words are not enough. Listening also allows us to communicate with one another.

Yes, speech is what gets our point across, but listening is what allows us to communicate and come to an agreement with a second and even third person.

How many times have you had an unresolved argument and walked way angry? Even in the steamiest of arguments, if you just open your ears and listen to the words being spoken to you, an unnecessary nasty confrontation can be avoided.

I must admit, I am quite a stubborn person and I often tend to not listen to what I am being told because I feel like I am always right. Yet, as much as I hate to admit it, when I stop and actually listen, I grasp on to the reality of being wrong.

It is not so much about being wrong or right, though. It is more so about compromising and giving the other person the opportunity to express themselves and connect with what they're saying. It is about giving someone the respect and attention they are giving you.

Listening is a beautiful art. It allows us to communicate, to express ourselves, and to relate to one other. Listening can turn our frown upside down, can help us mend a broken heart, and can help us prevent shedding a tear.

The art of listening is not appreciated enough in my opinion, and that is something society desperately needs to work on. Think about, how do we expect to voice our opinion, if we are not giving someone else the chance to voice theirs?

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151