Hey RO It's been a while since I've posted but I've had an issue that has come more to my attention recently I find myself struggling to maintain full concentration in conversations. Even if I am invested in the topic or in the person I'm talking to, I've been noticing myself kind of zoning out and not hearing some of it. Sometimes I won't notice it and the details I've missed will come up later and I won't have remembered them but if I do notice it, I am too anxious to ask if they could repeat as I fear it would make it look like I wasn't listening This has been an issue as I'll forget important details in conversations that will be brought up later and since I can't remember them, whoever I'm talking to will think I don't care what they are saying or whatever the conversation is about even if I do really care. (I hope some of that made sense) Does anyone have any idea why I might be doing this or any methods I can use to try and prevent it?
Hi @drhalloween . It's lovely to meet you. I can hear how much you want to improve with your listening and communication skills. It can be a tough thing to master and I know from previous experience that I find myself doing the same thing. I think it is truly much better for you to ask the person to repeat themselves, because then they will see that even if you missed the conversation the first time that you are making an effort to contribute and take in what they are saying. Some phrases I have used to help me in the past include:
"Hey, I'm sorry, I missed that last part. Would you mind repeating?"
"I'm sorry I don't understand. Would you mind explaining again."
"Please forgive me. I am having trouble concentrating today. What did you say?"
"I do apologise. I have stuff on my mind today and got totally lost in our conversation. Can we go back to the start?"
I think regardless of you forgetting what they say or not hearing, I think it is important to be honest and follow up with some questions that engage the conversation and show the person that you actually are interested in what they are saying and want to learn more. This way you are still being respectful and communicating!!
Would you say that you are zoning out during conversations and thinking about other things? Or is it more a case of you are getting bored during these conversations?
I hope this helps! I look forward to hearing back from you. <3
Hi @drhalloween, clearly losing concentration is becoming an important issue for you. I completely understand because at times I find myself doing this too. Especially when I'm stressed. I want you to know that we're here if you need anything.
I was wondering if you were getting enough sleep? When you're tired it can become incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything, especially conversations. So maybe more sleep could help the situation a bit?
Another reason could be if you're using your phone a lot through the day and especially before bed. I know everyone says how bad that can be, so it sounds like a broken record. But maybe taking time throughout the day and at night to engage in meditation of some sort or in any activity that allows your brain some time to shut off, may help in keeping focus for longer throughout the days. Headspace, Smiling Mind and Stop, Breathe and think are some meditations apps focused at reducing stress and increasing relaxation.
Also, when you're having conversations, something that I find helps with concentrating in fidgeting. I know it sounds sort of odd, but if you can find a way to fidget sort of inconspicuously, that might help you focus on the conversation (I move the rings I wear around on my fingers). I find focusing on something physical in the moment helps increase attentiveness, rather than going off on some tangent in my head (I do that a lot). Is there something that you do that keeps you focused??
Would any of these be applicable to you? Keep us updated about how you're doing.