Monday, December 26, 2011

Multiple Conversations

I've been told I am a good listener.  I've also been told I am a terrible listener.  I guess I listen to what I choose to listen to and ignore all the rest.  Which is how I approach many things.  Throw myself into what I love, sigh loudly at all the rest.

Part of the 'Melissa is a terrible listener' judgement is that Tyler believes I do not listen to him because I am able to have a conversation with him and, at the very same time, listen to an entire conversation that is happening elsewhere...between two strangers on the sidewalk, in a restaurant, or in a subway car.  

This became apparent to him when I sat next to actress Michelle Williams at a restaurant in Brooklyn. When we left I was able to relay huge portions of her conversation to him.  But Tyler had not seen me distracted throughout the meal.

Tyler doesn't think it's possible to be a part of both conversations and believed I must be fake listening to him.  But it's just not true.  It is possible!

I've started to think this is a skill that women have.  To be able to 'engage' in multiple conversations, file them away and pull them out when necessary.  But I also think it's a skill that writers have.  Being present in our own lives while sneaking into a stranger's life for a time.

Are you a good listener?   A selective listener like me?


  1. It is a 'woman' thing to be able to listen to more then one conversation at once. My husband suddenly asks me what he has just said ... and cannot believe it when I repeat it verbatim.

  2. I do the same thing (multi-task listening, as I think of it). On the flip side, my hubby can be looking directly at me as I say one sentence and he somehow zones out in the middle of it.

  3. Yep definitely a 'woman' thing Melissa!

  4. Absolutely! It's called multi-tasking! I can totally listen to convos and have one of my own. ;)

  5. hi miss melissa! yikes! i cant do that. ack! but i can read a book eat a snack and watch a movie all at the same time and know whats happening. im thinking that listening at two conversations is for sure a lady thing cause of ladies loving all that gossip stuff and dont wanna miss something. ha ha.
    ...hugs from lenny

  6. Oh I'm always listening to multiple conversations - real ones, and those going on in my head.

    Makes life very interesting...

  7. I think I'm a good listener??? I love listening in on other people, especially when it involves people with great accents. :)

    Have a happy New Year, Melissa!