Five Questions that Let You Watch What’s Going on in People’s Heads

A while back, when I was making Anki decks of the life concepts that I found most important, I wrote these two sentences:

“Communication is authentic when what we express externally corresponds to what’s going on internally.”

“Humans crave authentic communication.”

If you’re anything like me, you spend a big chunk of your waking hours talking to people. It’s important the time I spend communicating be fun, not unsatisfying. I don’t like it when I:

  • find myself planning what I’m going to say next instead of listening to the other person (Note: There is a level of listening beyond just being able to remember the words the other person said. That’s the type I’m referring to here.)
  • wonder whether the other person is really listening to me, or just being polite
  • discover that I’m completely off in my head somewhere else entirely, maybe thinking about what I’m going to eat for dinner
  • get the sense that the conversation is kind of dead, even if I couldn’t say why

Everything I listed above is a symptom of people not talking about what’s actually going on in their heads.

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