Title: You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
Author: Kate Murphy
Published: January 7, 2020
Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self Help
How often during conversations do you find yourself thinking that someone isn’t listening to you? How often do you find that you’re not listening?
In You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, journalist Kate Murphy addressed the incessant rise of loneliness in the digital age and within cultures that tout personal success and identities over collectivism. Her recommendation (which shouldn’t be taken as a conclusive solution to the assuredly more complex issues of our times 😅) was to listen more.
As a New York Times contributor, Murphy was granted opportunities to meet individuals whose reputable careers were marked by their ability to listen and almost reflexively understand people, from ex-CIA agents to master moderators. By compiling the lessons she learned from the aforementioned and supporting them with scientific studies, Murphy created a book that presented principles of communication I’m sure most of us would consider common sense, but made me contemplate why they rarely seemed to be applied.
“If someone is dull or uninteresting, it’s on you. You’re not listening.”
Although this book was categorized as Self Help, its overall message was less about the reader and more about how the reader can help others. Concepts such as active listening and therapeutic communication are integral parts of my profession, and as someone whose awkwardness can perceived as me being a “good listener” 😅, I found that this book was full of helpful reminders and valuable, new insights.
Moreover, Murphy’s palpable passion and advocacy for listening was a reassuring attitude to follow in a time where our attention has become a commodity companies and politicians have capitalized on.
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters underscored a myriad of interesting topics (the closeness communication bias, therapeutic communication techniques, etc.), but the most important emphasis always seemed to be placed on this concept of how and why bad news and content with the most shock value has become severely over-represented on social media. The book cast an illuminating view of the intentions behind this development and offered how listening can be used as a simple, yet effective form of a rebellion against the online cacophony.
While You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters made it clear that not everyone and everything is worth opening your ears to and that there are times when your voice is imperative, it was a meaningful report on when and why listening should supersede instincts to tune people out. After all, “listening will overturn expectations.”
i really liked it
Thanks for reading this quick review!
If you’d like to hear about some more specific points that resonated with me while reading this book, I made a chatty journal with me video
(at 2 A.M. 🙃) here: