No One Really Listens To Anyone Else, and If You Try It for a While You’ll See Why

Mignon McLaughlin? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Imagine reading a constructive, entertaining, and edifying discussion thread on social media. If you travel through the looking glass you can envision six impossible things before breakfast.

Now, imagine reading an unconstructive, mind-numbing, and obscurantist exchange. This latter possibility reminds me of a rueful remark from the famous wit Mignon McLaughlin. Would you please help me to find it?

Quote Investigator: The journalist, short story author, and aphorism creator Mignon McLaughlin included the following adage in her collection titled “The Second Neurotic’s Notebook”: 1

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.

Image Notes: Variant rendition of three wise monkeys (“speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil”) from 3D_Maennchen at Pixabay.


  1. 1966, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook by Mignon McLaughlin, Chapter 3: Men and Women, Quote Page 21, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Verified with scans)