Jan 24, 2013

Can You Active Listen in a Text Message?

In a world continually swamped with technology, it's no surprise that the average person now spends more time typing than they do talking over the course of an average workday. Text messaging spares no subject matter. Personally, I have shared deep sentiments, philosophical debates and even conflicts, all from my beloved iPhone. With P.E.T. in mind, Active-"Listening" is very much a possibility. While P.E.T. states that effective Active-Listening should feedback what you "see and hear" from another person (who is experiencing a problem), there's no reason why we can't attempt to do our best via texting as well. You may not be getting the non-verbal messages that you would face-to-face, but hey, that's why emoticons were invented, right?

This is a transcript of a real text conversation between a Mom (M), while she was taking a P.E.T. Instructor Training Workshop, and her Daughter (E). Her daughter’s friends are represented by Briana  Gina, Rachel and Justine. (Names have been changed to ensure privacy).

M: Hey baby, how was your day? 
E: Good, Briana wasn't so nice to me and ruined my day. 
M: You sound upset sweetie. 
E: Yes because I was with Briana and Gina comes and I say hi because I was happy to see her and she doesn't even answer back and pushes me away!! What is happening??  : - o  : - o  : - o 
M: I can see that you felt ignored by Gina. 
E: She always treats me badly. 
M: So you feel she doesn't respect you. 
E: Today I said hi after going trick a treating on the school street and she completely ignored me just because she’s jealous of me that she doesn't have the amazing parents I have – that love like you love me. And because she doesn't have friends like Briana and she’s jealous just because she wants to be like me. 
M: So you are feeling that she’s jealous of what you have and at the same time you are sad because you want your friendship to be the same as before. 
E: The thing is that when I’m with Briana and Gina arrives she only greets Briana and says come here and bla bla bla and takes Briana away from me and I HATE when she does that. I HATE it. 
M: I can see it really makes you angry that Gina only spends time with Briana and you feel lonely. 
E: No I don’t feel lonely because I have Rachel and Justine it’s just that Gina always takes what I am using or what she shouldn't be taking away because I’m with someone or something. 
M: It make you angry that Gina wants what you have and you don’t want to tell her not to do it.
E: Yeah and she just gets jealous because I’m with Briana. 
M: So you feel that she’s jealous that you have more time with Briana because you’re in the same school. 
E: I don’t know, but when she joins us she has to take Briana away and I don’t like it because it bothers me so much. 
M: So you get upset when Gina takes Briana away and you can’t really find the words or the way to tell her that what she does bothers you. 
E: Yes. Exactamondo!!! The best answer ever xoxoxo 
So what are you doing? 
M: It makes me happy to listen to you baby and that you want to share this with me : ), : - ) : - )   : - ) 
E: Me too mom. I love you!!  : - D   : - D   : - D 
M: Me too!!!

What do you think? Let us know!

by: Selena George, P.E.T. Program Manager

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting! - P.E.T.