During my lifetime, I heard many people, parents, employees, complain that, for them, “Nobody ever listens.” Have you ever thought or said that?

Do you wonder why that is?

Now you can find out why you feel so disrespected by family, friends, or even your company.

I’ll present a few comments from one of the lectures by JULIAN TREASURE (See End Note)  followed by [my paraphrasing and interpretation in square brackets].

JULIAN TREASURE  explained why people don’t always listen to what we say:

  1. GOSSIP.[ If people who know you, know that you often speak about others, gossip, then they know you will be speaking about them, too, when their backs are turned. They won’t want to give you any fodder for your gossip so they minimize their interaction with you.]
  2. JUDGING. [When those around you hear your judgmental comments about others, politicians, business leaders, stupid drivers, idiots in stores, etc., they know that they, too, will be judged by you. So, any decision they make by taking your advice will not be spoken well by you. Best to avoid doing what you say, or to listen only enough to satisfy you demand for their attention but then to forget about it,  as their safest course of action.]
  3. NEGATIVE THINKING.  [I can point to website after website that presents nothing but the worst possible outcomes. At one point in time I made an effort to document every negative prediction about the economy, the stock market, the health of the USA dollar, the collapse of society, the end of the world, and so on…Of the 125 “sky=is-falling” predictions by so-called experts, that I documented, guess how many actually came to pass?  Here’s a hint. The earth is still here, ain’t it?! Civilization has not yet collapsed, has it?  The USA dollar is still stronger than ever, isn’t it? ZERO of the 125 sky-falling predictions ever happened!! Yet many websites were filled with paranoia and attracting readers based on creating fear and paranoia. What’s worse, many of those readers were imbued with a very negative mind set for two reasons. ONe, they believed in the bullshit. And, two, they were frustrated that no one else would subscribe to their world of negativity and paranoia. Negativity bred more negativity. Treasure says it very well, “It’s hard to listen when someone is that negative.”]
  4. COMPLAINING.  [Once again let me borrow Treasure’s explanation, “Complaining is spreading a viral misery.  It’s not spreading sunshine in the world.”]
  5. EXCUSES. [It could be that the environment is not suitable. There is something lacking. The odds are stacked against someone. The system or politicians don’t work properly.  Treasure describes these people as “…’Blame-Throwers’…they pass it on to other people and take no responsibility themselves.”]
  6. EXAGGERATION. [A person who blows things out of proportion, or uses penultimate words to describe common events. When we hear people exaggerating, we can’t help wonder if their exaggeration is stretched too far that it turns into misinformation or even a lie. Since it is often hard for the listener to discern passion, exaggeration, truth-stretching, from an outright lie, listeners simply switch off.]
  7. CONFUSION.[ Opinions are often touted as facts, and partial facts, or even misinformation touted as factual. You can detect this rather easily in those who have strong opinions which, over time, are undermined as facts emerge. Bigotry, prejudice, narrow-mindedness, refusing to accept other viewpoints, studying one set of data at the exclusion of more relevant data, slanting information to justify opinions…all of this gives rise to suspicions on the part of the listener. Listeners particularly find it frustrating for someone to speak as an authority on a subject without being an authority or without being able to present solid, authoritative evidence. Treasure once again explains it, “It is difficult to listen to someone bombarding you with their opinions as if they are true.”]

If you communicate by using any of the above, what I will loosely refer to as the 7-Deadly Credibility Sins, then you now know why…

People won’t respect you.

People won’t act on what you insist upon.

People will learn to ignore you.


  • Julian Treasure:  international speaker;  five TED talks VIEWED 30 million times; author of several books including, SOUND BUSINESS;  a sound and communication expert; FEATURED IN TIME Magazine; The Economist; The Times; TV and radio in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Netherlands, and more; founder and chairman of The Sound Agency, a UK-based brand consultancy working with some of the world’s largest corporations.