Sometimes we feel like we’re talking to a wall when it comes to some people. We always hear that they say, “I hear you,” but nothing comes from the conversation. It becomes frustrating because you can say things in multiple ways, but the result is the same. Why is that?
There’s No Capacity to Understand
There could be a few reasons why the person isn’t listening. It could be that they don’t understand. It’s not really their fault that they don’t understand you. It could be due to a lack understanding, but they also haven’t told you that they can’t understand what you’re saying. If they do, it’s language that makes it feel like it’s your fault such as, “You’re not making any sense.”
If they don’t and can’t understand, it’s probably best to leave them alone. It’s fine to just accommodate their knowledge until they come around. I’ve been in plenty situations where it took a couple years for people to finally se my vision. Forgive them for they know not what they know.
They Don’t Care to Understand
Another reason why this person isn’t listening to you is that they don’t want to understand. It’s a bit more rude than the first, but it comes with the same effect. They definitely could understand you, but their selfishness won’t allow it. The information that you’re giving him/her goes contrary to his/her belief. Maybe it goes against what he/she promised someone else and the bad news is not something he/she is willing to take in. The response to your inquiries are put downs like, “You don’t know what your talking about.” See how similar, yet different, this statement is to the one previously mentioned?
When you realize that the person is not interested in understanding, it’s time to push them. If they have any type of relationship with you, they owe you receptivity. Whenever you have the chance, bring it up again and again, until they humble themselves.
If you work in an industry that is built on opinion or guesswork, you’re bound to meet one of these three people. You can also find these people in big picture fields such as philosophy, religion, and politics. Anyone can have an opinion, and stick to that opinion with no education to prove or disprove without consequence. In these long term disciplines people can pick any standpoint and it will be very hard to prove them wrong.
It’s all guesswork. In a discussion (or most likely argument), people can always find a reason why they would be right. The simpler the opinion, the easier it so to express it. If this person has a solution that helps a majority of problems, they can easily ignore the problems that it does not solve. It also makes it easier to talk the talk, but never do a thing. In these cases, it’s probably best to just walk away from this type of leader.
Sometimes you can’t resign. Sometimes it’s hard to walk away. What do you do then? In a conversation with this person, it’s easy to have an emotional response. Instead of retaliating, it’s always best to take a couple breathes and give a rational response.
You’re Talking to the Wrong Person
Last, but not least, this person isn’t listening to you because they shouldn’t understand. Maybe you’re just talking to the wrong person. Whatever your saying is beyond the relevance of the audience and you need to find who that other person is.