“People are always trying to tell you how they feel. Some of them say it outright, and some of them, they tell you with their actions. And you have to listen….Listen and don’t ignore what you hear.” Sam Halpern
And this is exactly what you must do to fully understand the man behind the words, Sam Halpern. A man who is known for his humor, aggressive attitude, and swear words, Mr. Halpern says a lot of shit in ways that make you laugh out loud and shake your head. His words are so full of comic relief, his son, Justin, author of this book and often the butt of his dad’s jokes, started posting his old man’s statements on Twitter. 1 million followers later, Justin penned this book, which has now been written into a hit sitcom.
Our leading man has an opinion on just about everything, and he isn’t afraid to be direct and outright. He summed up Justin’s first day of kindergarten by telling his son, “You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of your life.” And when his son encountered bullies, “You’re going to run into jerk-offs, but remember: it’s not the size of the asshole you worry about, it’s how much shit comes out of it.” And it got no easier for his son when he was being teased. “So he called you a homo. Big deal. There’s nothing wrong with being a homosexual. Jesus Christ. Now I’m starting to see why this kid was giving you shit.”
You see Sam is an explicit man who likes to tell it like it is and “keep it real.” And his brutal, but hilariously funny statements would cause most kids undo stress for the rest of their lives. But not Justin Halpern. Often at his own expense, our author, who’s heard dozens upon dozens of curse-laden rants in his childhood, has incredibly thick skin and is able to understand what his dad is so dutifully trying to explain to him. In fact, it’s fair to say that if we could all be as good of listeners as Justin Halpern we could better our lives in many, many ways.
Justin, who loves his dad as much as his dad loves him, is able to interpret the meaning behind his dad’s often filthy language because he is a good listener. Instead, he filters his dad’s messages, letting the good lessons sink in and leaving the rest behind. And, often what Justin hears, is not cursing and anger, but love. How many of us converse with others daily, but ignore what they are saying because we were too easily offended? How many times has someone’s body language not lined up with his/her words, but you failed to notice the discrepancy?
If you are a coach, like me, you must always pay close attention to your client’s words and behaviors because often enough, people say things that you must interpret or require you going deeper by asking more questions to find out what is really being said. Remember, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We are supposed to do more listening than speaking. By doing so, we can connect with people much better and learn the real meaning behind their words; thus creating a more impactful relationship than we would have had otherwise.