To hear is to perceive sounds through our ears. Listening is paying attention to what we hear. It intrigues me to observe the conversations of people where few listen although all may speak. There is much talk and little said. Most people listen to themselves and hear others without listening to what they say. Hence many misunderstandings arise.
How do you feel when you need to be listened to, but you are only heard? They interrupt you with their personal comments, ignore what you say and end up talking about another topic. It may also be that they have their minds on something else that interests them more and you feel the emptiness in their eyes, in their silence and in their behaviour. They do not listen to you they just hear you. How do you feel?
Last week I was in a plane at an airport and a voice came over the loudspeakers and kept repeating very clearly: “We are filling up with fuel. Remain seated with your belts unfastened. Keep all your digital devices turned off, even those in airplane mode.” The passengers I could see ignored the announcement completely and continued to use their devices. They heard but did not listen.
Knowing how to listen is a very important skill.