Whats the word used for, people who don't listen to what people say and think of only what they want to say?

I think its definition also says those who think of themselves higher than others.

  • 1
    "Preoccupied," even if not the right word might lead you to a synonym.
    – Hugh
    Nov 22, 2015 at 5:56
  • 1
    This reminds me of something Fran Leibowitz wrote: "Listening is not the opposite of speaking. Waiting is."
    – Al Maki
    Feb 1, 2016 at 17:52
  • Listening to respond, not to understand. Possible paraphrase of the question but I do not have an answer in a single word. I think the definition of egocentric is on target.
    – Andrew
    Mar 15, 2017 at 0:29

5 Answers 5


Not a single word, but this is similar to the phrase "Talking past each other"

Talking past each other is an English phrase meaning two or more people talking about different subjects, while they believe that they are talking about the same thing.


If the interlocutor is asking a question, it can be thought of as a case of "question dodging"

Question dodging is the intentional avoidance of answering a question.



While I'm not sure if there's one specific word to encompass it (perhaps inattentive?), inactive and selective listening are the broader communication terms (as opposed to active and reflective listening - which are great skills to have).

Selective Listening: "You hear only what you want to hear. You hear some of the message and immediately begin to formulate your reply or second guess the speaker without waiting for the speaker to finish."

Inactive Listening: "You hear the words, but your mind is wandering and no communication is taking place."

So the person doing this may be a selective listener.


A 'snob' is generally a person who looks down upon people who are below him. But I don't think that was the word you were looking for.

Here, you can say that the person was patronizing and turned a deaf ear to what other had to say.


verb 1. treat with an apparent kindness which betrays a feeling of superiority.

Alternative words: Condescending.


The first word that comes to my mind is "myopic". It's a word comes from the eye condition called "myopia" meaning near-sighted. It is sometimes used to describe a person who lives his life as is he had "blinders" or "blinkers" on: a person who sees life selectively.

Such a person might also be described as "egocentric": having little or no regard for interests, beliefs, or attitudes other than one's own; self-centered.


domineering / self-asserting / self-centred

All from ODO:

domineer VERB [NO OBJECT] (usually as adjective domineering)

Assert one’s will over another in an arrogant way:

Cathy had been a martyr to her gruff, domineering husband

self-assertion NOUN [MASS NOUN]

The confident and forceful expression or promotion of oneself, one’s views, or one’s desires:

her self-assertion was born from a confident determination to succeed

the occasion became one of national self-assertion

self-centred ADJECTIVE

Preoccupied with oneself and one’s affairs: he’s far too self-centred to care what you do

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