Beans in our Ears
Most of us have learned the prevailing form of listening in our society. Much of the time we don't really listen. We listen, not to connect deeply with the experience of another, but to reply. Although our ears and eyes and finer sensibilities are operational as we listen, most of our attention is absorbed into the commentary running through our heads.
As a matter of habit, we automatically analyze, compare, judge, relate it to an associated personal experience, advise, counsel, or otherwise react without a deep awareness of what is really going on -- either inside ourselves or the other person. As a result, whole realms of emotional and intuitive energies remain beneath the level of our awareness. Rather than connect, we often end up bouncing off one another.