To show people that I am actively listening to their stories, I tend to ask a lot of questions. I am also a naturally curious person, like a kid in some ways. I have to work on engaging in listening but with more silence.
Thankfully, there is a Cliffs Notes version of listening as the following previews have clued me in on what’s about to follow:
1) “…to make a long story short…” –> with all those tangents, first and last names, what year it was, what you were wearing, EVEN LONGER STORY AHEAD. Better to just tell the long story without this inaccurate signifier.
2) “Not to sound racist or anything…” –> hella racist and ign’ant shit (i.e. ex-co-worker Mean Girl leader, “Not to sound racist or anything but do you even celebrate Thanksgiving since you’re Korean? Am I allowed to ask that or like, am I gonna be receiving an email from HR?”). Note: her question would have been perfectly fine had it been, “Hey, do Koreans even celebrate Thanksgiving?” or “Do Korean-Americans generally observe Thanksgiving?”
3) “I’m just keepin’ it real…” –> real rude and hurtful. Usually, users of this phrase can dish it but can’t take it when you “keep it real” with them.
4) “I love her to death but…” –> lemme break it down to you about aspects of her personality that I can’t stand.
What else? I’m sure there are SO many more out there.