Most people are like separate little closed systems. So, we take the world in through our senses. We filter the outside input through our own experiences, and we react accordingly.
Our experiences are qualified by our determination, and categorization of what’s relevant. I would say that we miss out on the totality of most experiences because of our limitations of relevance. Therefore, our listening abilities are greatly reduced through this filtering process. Basically, we hear only what we want to hear. To really listen means to take all that is said especially, beyond spoken words. Words are the universal form of expression, yes. Communication however, requires us to listen with more than our ears. If we are truly to take in the expressions of experiences of another, yes I would say that this is related to listening to ourselves in that we filter our own experiences through our emotions, that is we tune out or tune into our outer, and inner worlds based on acceptance of how much or how little we actually feel we can relate. If our concepts and opinions feel threatened, then we tend to tune out. If, when listening to another we feel some similarities then often we are pre-forming, I say, our answer which is actually another form of tuning out while we are relaxing in the predetermined belief that we are listening, simply because we are somehow relating.
Listening to ourselves or another requires the use, and continual refinement of intuition. The sense of hearing with the ears is limited by the distortion of human perceptions wallowing in emotions.
Perhaps I can offer an example. Say we find ourselves in a bad situation with another person, we are conditioned to believe that life is all about suffering and surviving so we will attempt in every way to adapt and survive. When in fact if we were listening to our intuitive self we would know what is best for our well-being. Does this make sense?
We will not do for another anything that we won’t do for ourselves. Therefore, if we will attune to our inner world more closely we’ll become more refined in our listening abilities, and will therefore be able to listen more closely to another.