We all have that person in our lives who just isn't listening to a word we're saying. Maybe they ask you questions just to turn back the conversation to their answer. Perhaps, they're nodding their head and trying to talk every time you take a breath. They might not even ask your opinion on anything, forcing you to just sit and listen to them. Unfortunately, you might have to see this person often.
I have someone in my life who asks me questions to make themselves feel good. I always imagine them checking my name off their "interaction list". By now, I know they're not listening to anything I'm saying because they ask me the same question over and over again, never knowing what my answer will be.
This used to frustrate the heck out of me. It made me feel unimportant and disregarded. Recently, I have accepted that their lack of interest in me is not my problem. I don't have to feel less about myself just because someone doesn't want to take the time to actually get to know me. I have been working really hard to understand how to interact with this person, and others like them, in a way where I am not about to pull my hair out.
These are practices that have been helping me deal with this situation:
1. Recognize that they're not inquiring for you. They're inquiring for themselves. I don't feel like It's any skin off of my back to entertain them for a few minutes. So answer the question. Then, answer it again. Then, answer it again.
2. Stop expecting them to listen to you. It's just not going to happen. There's no reason to take offense. Accepting this will alleviate the disappointment of not being heard.
3. Make the conversation about them. Especially, if you're in a situation where you are spending a longer amount of time with this person. This has been extremely effective for me. I think to myself, "maybe I'm in their lives to help them feel heard". In doing this, I am able to feel like there is a purpose in a conversation.
A person's inability to have a two-way conversation is ultimately his or her own issue. It doesn't have to be your problem, too. Sometimes, contributing to a conversation is just listening. Welcome the conversation. Nod your head. Extend grace and give value to others. Answer that question one more time.