After the conversation, I went about my normal duties yet the whole conversation ran through my mind again and I thought to myself "you are sometimes too keen on picking fights and assuming"
But that's not the issue here. The issue is my ability to listen attentively, be slow to speak and quick to hear as the Bible recommends that believers should do.
Because of this I embarked upon the journey to learn the act and art of listening. I read a post titled The art of listening in which an exercise requested that I listen to my favourite music and try to listen to every single word in the song. True to the findings in the post, I ended up drifting away about halfway through the song. I tried again as was requested by the exercise and the second and third times I drifted off again. This made me realise two things about my listening ability.
1. Familiarity (assumptions) prevents me from paying attention
2. I don't really listen to the words when I'm listening to music
So after these two discoveries, I followed up a link on conversations- urges of an untamed mind and I learnt a few things about conversations. About the fact that there are different forms of conversation that we have as humans. Sometimes its in the form of speaking, other times, its watching others speak and at certain times its through our own mental conversations which we have. And most at times these conversations prevent us from truly listening.
For instance, in my conversation with my cousin and even with other people, I've realised that often when the other person is speaking, I am already making up my own story in my head as to what to give as a reply hence preventing me from truly listening to the other person. The post also gave an instance of people who have conversations and never listen but are only waiting for the other person to finish so that they can give their own opinion on the issue (i.e me sometimes).
So I found here a video by Iyanla Vazant on Listening. It just summarises the simplicity of listening; that the true art of listening is without judgement or expectation but is a process of love which comes from the "right now" moment when you make a connection with the person that you're talking to and finally, it comes from the heart
After realising these things about myself, I have decided to make a deliberate effort to be silent at certain points in the day, for I realise that sometimes silence brings more peace than noise and in so doing I'll learn to practice my listening much better than I have been doing so far.