Listening is an art form. The kind of listening that allows real understanding, and gives real understanding back simply by listening. There are some people we call "listeners". It's a compliment. You are such a great listener! When you are in the company of a listener, you actually feel better when you finish speaking. You feel, heard. The relationship between the listener and the speaker becomes stronger. Trust is grown in that quiet exercise of sincere listening.
It's a gift allowing another to speak while paying sincere attention. To truly listen to another is stating one simple fact; they are more important than you at that moment. It's a gift.
It's not an easy gift to give, and it's an easy gift to take back. To give this you have to set yourself and what you want at that moment, aside. You'll put your own wants away to give this gift.
The best of companion parrot relationships are built on art forms of time investment, empathy, patience and listening. That is why I call my approach The Art of the FlockCall. Communication exercised through the very art form of unselfish motivations. I don't consider myself an animal behaviorist, I do consider myself a human behaviorist. And I do believe in no uncertain terms, it's the human in the room that needs the behavior modifications first. Because a human's motivations are rationalized and complex. We want. We bring expectations, some so unreasonable inside a context there is no way to explain it.
Parrots do not rationalize. Parrots do not bring unreasonable expectations brought on by rationalization. Parrots do not covet, lust, or form opinions based on emotions brought on by expectations built from some far away land in an old memory. They are living in the now, they bring results from past experiences and use those past results as measuring sticks to the now. But on the whole. A parrot is far more likely to reconsider a past bad experience replaying in the now rather than a human. Vitriol, hate and judgment are not in their DNA. And so we have an unconditional cognitive creature meeting a rationalizing expectation driven human.
You can see where things can get complicated and parrots are misunderstood.
The art of listening requires handing over controls from the listener to the speaker. By choosing to listen rather than speak the control of ideas, words and beliefs are, for that small span of time, granted to the speaker. Humans do not do well when they feel out of control. Granted we control very little in our worlds. Indeed the only real control we have is our reactions to all the things we do not control. But humans prefer to think we are in control.
Sharing your life with a companion parrot is not controlling that companion parrot inside your life. It's sharing a life with your companion. It's sharing. It's listening to your parrot's needs before you bring your expectation to the moment. It is a respectful and unconditional exercise between two minds. It requires time.
Whether a budgie or a Cockatoo, the sizing plays no difference. Our companion parrot lifestyle success does not sit at the feet of our parrot. It sits in the very center of our own actions, expectations and empathy. Success is not their responsibility, it is ours.
Listening not only requires ears, eyes and an open emotional view, but time. To listen to a parrot is simply taking in the whole of their body language, voice, actions and attitude. A healthy parrot that suddenly changes demeanor or habits is a parrot reacting to the human in the room's sudden changes of demeanor or habits. Some parrots are almost clairvoyant (cockatoo), so sensitive they notice your issues before you do. Some parrots are so emotionally connected to their human they feel the change as it is building rather than after the fact. Before the human notices their own emotional snowballing.
The fracture in communication, or the lack of "cooperation" from a companion parrot is simply the result of the human in the room wanting rather than listening. And yes, there will be days you will not receive the wants you bring to your companion. By the very definition of companion, our parrots have the right to say no within reason and safety.
Otherwise this isn't a relationship. It's ownership.