Sometimes when people talk to us, we aren’t really listening. We may hear them speak and look them in the eye. We may nod our heads in encouragement. But inwardly we are distracted by our private concerns and want to turn the conversation in our own direction. Before they complete their sentences, we are busy composing our own responses.
And sometimes, of course, they are doing exactly the same thing. We may be sharing ideas and feelings that are very important to us; we may want to be heard and taken seriously. But inwardly they are distracted by their own private agendas. They, too, are composing their responses to our sentences before we have finished uttering them. An observer might say that the two of us are having a conversation, but in fact we are having two monologues simultaneously. Two people are talking, but no one is listening.