3 Reasons Why Our Future Depends on Listening To Each Other

“I know, I know!” – How many times have you heard that? How many times have you said that, or at least thought it?

I think we all have. For sure, I have.

Yet, there are at least three compelling reasons why saying that (or even thinking it) is a very bad idea:

We miss out

The “I know” thought stands in the way of actually listening.As soon as we feel like we already know what the other person will say next, we are not listening. That is the “Always already listening” “syndrome” I wrote about recently.

We have no idea what the other person said (even though we think we do). That lack of both information and connection impacts our relationships and our future.

We Are More Ignorant Than We Think

Jordan B. Peterson, the author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” pointed out that we know amazingly little. Let’s admit it: We don’t know what we don’t know. How could we?

Peterson suggests that unless your life is already perfect, we might reduce our ignorance just a little by listening to someone else.

I agree. Almost always can learn something by listening to someone else. We need to tame our ego to do it. I invite you to think of yourself as a sponge. Absorb what someone says to you. Then, of course, you will check what to do with what you heard. But at least, you actually heard it. 

Our World Changes So Fast We Need Need Each Other To Survive And Thrive

Our world changes so rapidly these days that we can barely keep up. Jordan Peterson interviewed Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, evolutionary biologists and authors of the book “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life.

The problem is that although we are the most flexible creature that selection has ever produced, our level of flexibility is not up to a rate of change where we literally do not mature into the same world in which we were born. By the time we become adults, we live in some different context and what this means at an intuitive level is that we do not know what to do. Our intuitions are badly tuned for the kinds of things we encounter.

Bret Weinstein, Co-author of “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life”

What is Niche Switching? How Do Humans Do It?

During the interview, they also talked about “niche switching. In ecology, we know that all species have a niche. The niche is the environment to which the species is adapted. Unlike other species, humans have adapted to lots of different niches. We can live anywhere on the planet. We can switch our niche.

How do we do it? We pool our ideas and knowledge – our brilliance if you want to say it that way.

What does it take to do that? We have to listen to each other, absorb the ideas, and consider them, for starters. The exchange of ideas around the campfire has been the key to success for humans. We need what I call “Gray Zone Thinking.” 

As humanity, we continue to have the opportunity to be better as a whole than the sum of its parts (each person, group, party, country). At the rate at which things change now, it doesn’t merely seem like an opportunity. It is a necessity.

I’m Curious

How can you practice better listening?

By the way, if you need a little inspiration for your mini-Brilliance Nugget today, here you go. 🙂

Live Brilliantly,

Dr. Stephie

P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this Brilliance Nugget with others. Thank you!

Stephie Althouse

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