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Are You A Good Listener?

Do you focus completely on your date when you’re at dinner or are you preoccupied with what’s coming up on your agenda? Can you stay present when your mate speaks about an emotional issue?

Are you exceedingly concerned with finding a solution to your partner’s problems that you tune out essential elements? Do you cut off your confidante wanting to steam roll over sensitive territory?

Can you concentrate or are you easily distracted? Is it hard for you to give undivided attention to an intimate conversation? Are you defensive and guarded or open and accepting? Do you circumvent confrontation at all costs, becoming a ‘yes’ person, yielding to every command and request?

Do you avoid face to face exchange by fabricating deadlines, insisting you must take a crucial call, finish a vital brief, or attend to a pressing crisis?

Do you pride yourself on multitasking, e.g. able to do the dishes, finish a thesis, watch a film, and fold the laundry, efficiently and simultaneously?

How often do you pronounce your babe’s discourse as being insignificant stating, “Don’t bother me, I’m busy,” or “Get to the point.”

Are you preoccupied planning your morning meeting when your child excitedly reports extra-curricular activities? Do you tune out a talkative relative and simply nod your head pretending to hear the endless chatter and gibberish?  

Do you feign listening when in fact you’re in another realm and haven’t a clue as to what’s being verbalized? Consequently, do you attempt to cover up your inattentiveness by responding ‘okay,’ ‘I agree,’ ‘I understand,’ yet you haven’t any inkling as to what’s actually been expressed?

Does your mind wander while you try to take note, worried about how you’re going to solve the emblematic work dilemma?  

Have you gotten stuck in your own cock-and-bull because you’ve acquiesced on something without remembering specifics? Have you failed to attend an important occasion you assented to, since you were only partially present when details were divulged?     

Do you continually disappoint your sweetheart who labels you as uncaring, impolite, lax, discourteous, neglectful, due to your aversion to remaining alert, interested, and conscientious?

Have you considered it might behoove you to arrange slots for discussions when you’re inclined to thoroughly pay heed and offer the deserved respect? Wouldn’t this be more thoughtful, honoring, and considerate than merely brushing your cohort aside?

Isn’t it preferable to persistently having to ask your lover to explain and repeat everything again, which only increases his/her sense of humiliation, debasement, diminished worth and regard?   

Active listening in itself is a major job and takes an enormous amount of diligence, effort, and deliberation. It’s not a task you can accomplish on the fly, between, or during other feats.

It’s a commitment, a conscious intention, a pledge, a responsibility.” It’s a way to express terms of endearment, i.e. “I love you,” “You matter,” “I value your input,” “You’re central in my life.”

If you propose to bring up a touchy subject, prepare your intended beforehand with advance notice. Give him/her the opportunity to process, regroup, contact a support system. The surreptitious dealings, sneaking, withholding, are detrimental to promoting a deep, meaningful bond.

Eliminating outside distractions is crucial, e.g. phones, TV’s, computer, texting, etc. This is imperative in keeping your romantic relationship from fizzling out, whilst enhancing a tender and passionate connection.

Imagine every contact is your first impression. Treat each tete a tete as you would an initial interview, i.e. the one that counts the most; will put you in the best light possible; and will establish a long lasting liaison based on trust, integrity, sincerity, and directness.

Practice your listening skills at these upcoming local events where your single-mindedness may be so germane, you’ll suddenly realize the man/woman of your dreams is standing right before you.

On Wednesday, April 24 from 6-9pm you’re cordially invited to attend a free single’s soiree, hosted by Dr. Dan Blechman, at Cabaret Tehran / Mediterranean Bar & Grill, 16101 Ventura Boulevard #160, Encino, 91436.

If you haven’t been to a Dr. Dan’s party, now is the perfect opportunity to partake in his fun, pleasurable, congenial gatherings for sophisticated adults.  

You can boogie on the dance floor to cool, invigorating tunes spun by a remarkable DJ. Hopefully you’ll be swept off your feet by your happily ever after before the evening’s end. There'll be complimentary, appealing appetizers, e.g. chicken rolls, hummus, dips, chips and lots of new faces to mix and mingle with.

If you’re lucky enough to hook up with Mr/Ms Right, there'll still be plenty of time to grab your catch and catch a late flick at the Arclight Sherman Oaks; swoon over the sultry, sexy singers just down the road at the Gate, 16925 Ventura Blvd. Encino, 91316 with host Cathy Segal-Garcia; or indulge in scrumptious fare at the many nearby, top quality eateries.

If you’ve only met Mr./Ms. Not So Right, you can hurry home to watch the newest Netflix film that tickles your fancy; get extra shuteye and hone in on your beauty sleep; or read a best-selling mystery novel on your kindle.

On Friday, April 26, from 7-9pm, powerful jazz vocalist Perlene Thurston returns to the Artisan Cheese Gallery, 12023 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, just east of Laurel Canyon. Backing her up are the talented Doug MacDonald on guitar and Mike Flick on bass. 

Join them for soulfully delivered jazz standards, blues, and ballads. Experience their unique, warm, and lively sounds in this casual, comfortable Studio City café and fromagerie, whose paninis and specialty cheeses are already being hailed as among the area's finest. 

Great music, excellent food, a variety of imported wines, beers and beverages, and friendly servers all add up to a fantastic occasion. It’s a wonderful way to start your weekend. No cover. Parking in the back and on the street.

For additional info, call 818-505-0207, or check out the following sites: www.artisancheesegallery.com/http://perlene.net/ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/perlenethurstonhttp://www.dougmacdonald.net/

On Sunday April 28, 5-7pm, you won’t want to miss the fabulous, and my favorite hidden find, “The Poetry Fix,” co-hosted by James Maverick and Dori Marler. It takes place at Studio City’s The Coffee Fix, 12508 Moorpark Street, 818-762-0181, every 2nd and last Sunday of the month.

Dori and James are two amazing, amiable, creative, talented, bright, cheerful, dazzling, wonderfully spirited individuals, and our city is better off for their presence.

They started The Poetry Fix, featuring poetry, music, comedy, and more, by gifted performers and entertainers near and far 2 years ago, and now have a loyal following. They're absolutely delighted at the reception they’ve received from poets, storytellers, musicians, and enthusiastic spectators.

If you feel the urge and discover the courage to read a poem, sing a song, or tell a story, arrive at 4:30pm to sign up for open mic. Seize the day and share your forte with the world. All genres are welcome.

The featured guest on the 28th will be Peggy Dobreer, an author, poet and educator, who's been around the poetry circuit and is very revered for her work.

Her first full-length collection, In The Lake of Your Bones, was recently released by Moon Tide Press, and she is co-author of 64 Ways To Practice Nonviolence: A Curriculum and Resource Guide, ProEd, Inc.

Ms. Dobreer's poems have appeared in anthologies: Cracked Pavement and Plastic Trees: Our Gifts to Future Generations, Everything About You Is Beautiful, Literary Angles: The Second Poetic Diversity Anthology, The San Pedro River Review, WordWright's Magazine, The Malpais Review, and LA Yoga.

Listen to audio poems at Extended Haiku Remix Project and at www.foggedclarity.com. Visit Peggy at www.peggydobreer.com.

Jerome Cleary April 22, 2013 at 03:29 AM
I'm an excellent listener but the unfortunate part in life is my friends and associates are not good listeners. So it's extremely frustrating when I bring up something we had discussed in the past and they do not remember or recall the facts of the event or story. Most people are distracted and self involved and not paying attention or focusing in on what is being said in the moment. It becomes a bigger problem when I have friends ask me for advice and they tell me the problem or story and I give them concrete practical advice. Then they forget and think that I am going to later act as their tickler file and re-discuss what I already helped them with. No way will I do that. If they cannot remember well then they better write it down or email it to themselves. I'm not their personal assistant to rehash or re-cap their bad social skills and bad listening skills.

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