It is so hard and most times quite impossible to stay focused when someone is talking to you. It is for me anyways. I care a lot about these people and want to know what is troubling them or just what goes on through their daily lives. However, I am a huge daydreamer. One minute I will be intently listening and the next I'm producing a movie inside my brain. It's so frustrating and rude and I truly want to listen.
- What I have learned that helps me focus and engage is to make sure I am looking at them. The minute I look somewhere else my mind will start to wonder.
- It also helps to repeat back what the person is talking about. Not every word because that's kind of weird but just paraphrase important parts of the conversation.
Another thing that I know prevents people from focusing and has recently prevented me is being distracted by phones. I was not allowed a smartphone until I turned 18, so I have only had an iPhone for about a year. All I could do with my previous phones was basically make phone calls and text. It used to frustrate me to no end when I was talking to someone and they would be on their phones the whole time. I just could not understand how you could not put it away for just a few minutes and thought it was not that hard. Not until I got a smartphone myself did I realize how distracting they really are. I find myself checking my phone or looking at it every now and again when some is talking to me. It has become like a habit to look at it.
- Even though you could more than likely recite back what someone has said to you while being on your phone it is still common courtesy to give them all of your attention. Also, you are not able to listen as well as you think because no one is truly a professional multitasker all of the time.