Last week when I had my freak out
I realised that I was looking at Bloody Good Chap blankly as he was talking to me.
I wasn’t taking in anything he was saying.
My mind had worked itself up into such a tiz and was so busy shouting my insecurities in my ear that I couldn’t hear him.
The voice in my head too loud.
So I said to him, I’m sorry, I know I’m not being present with you right now. My mind is going off on one about what happened tonight, and it’s drowning out everything you’re saying.
Luckily he’s been with me long enough that this kind of talk is completely normal for him. And of course he already knew that.
I say honestly what’s going on in my mind and he’s learnt to do the same, it makes for very quick problem resolution and breaking down of barriers! He’s also right into mindfulness now,
I’ve been telling him all the Bloody Good Life stuff because it interests him almost as much as it interests me.
Mindfulness allows you insight into the workings of your own mind so that you can be more honest about what’s going on in there, rather than having to put up a facade while you work out what to do with your unwanted thoughts.
But I digress.
This state of mind-tizzy non-listening that I spiralled into during and after the event was one I remember very well from my pre-bloody-good-life life. I didn’t know it was happening at the time, but back then my mind was always so busy running a commentary about the situation in my head that I could hardly ever focus on what people were saying to me.
Most of the time I was talking to people I was wondering whether they thought I was boring. Which of course they did. I was extra boring because I was all up in my thoughts rather than listening, so I couldn’t engage properly in conversation. And I couldn’t come up with any bright ideas to contribute to conversations because my mind was off on a repetitive thought train. Creative thought comes when the mind zips up for a minute.
I never used to have any zipped minutes.
For this reason, I used to get really bored in conversations. I was bored of myself, and bored of the other person, not because of them, but because I wasn’t listening. As a result I would often look around the room for someone more entertaining. Usually I was scoping out good looking dudes. I’d excuse myself to go to the bathroom, only to find myself in another boring conversation where I continued to not listen.
Life seemed dull; colourless; dissatisfying.
Because I wasn’t really there! My life was playing out in my mind, not in reality.
This is actually how most humans interact most of the time. The voice in your head is so loud, it’s very hard to fully listen to what anyone else is saying. It might be telling you about your insecurities, or it might be telling you to find someone different to talk to. It might be thinking about sex.
How many times have you been in a conversation with a partner and suddenly you heard the words “are you listening to me?” To which you naturally responded “of course,” while frantically scanning your brain for any peripheral trace of what they’d just said, because you were actually busy thinking about dinner.
Most of us are not listening while pretending to listen almost all of the time.
And we act like this is normal.
It makes us boring, and it makes us find conversations boring. How can it be interesting if we’re not really engaged? It’s like watching a movie with the soundtrack of another movie in our ears. Hard to focus, and hard to enjoy the movie in front of us. (Your life, that is!)
So if you know what I’m saying – you know you zone out during conversations; if you find conversations boring; worry that you’re boring yourself – I suggest you do some work on your mind.
Book in for a free chat with me to learn the skills that got me out of my bored-with-life rut
I have one space in Bloody Good Life 101 coming up this month and a couple of spaces in August.
Or go it on your own, research mindfulness, learn to meditate, and most importantly(!), sign up for my newsletter to get interesting insights into my mind (and therefore yours) via my ridiculously honest blog posts!
You’ll be surprised to find that life is a whole lot more exciting when you’re not listening to your mind’s judgey commentary of it.