Listening is a masochist endeavor. To do it right you have to put everything down. Not just your phone, even pen and paper. There is nothing to hold on to when you truly listen. You have to use your full attention, registering everything that you see and hear. You have to slow down your self-perception and focus on the outside, on what you do not understand. Compared to how we usually operate, this is like focusing on pain. Like diving into boredom. In order to see the other in slow motion, you need to stop the camera of self-perception that makes you the star, and speed up the camera that records the outside.
Listening requires the patience to recognize your feelings in other people’s words, no matter how trivial, dark and empty their language may seem. It requires you to become someone else while you listen. Listening requires that you accept the nuisance of not understanding and still pay attention. Listening is the first step of deep thought.