Being a good listener is an art that most people don’t seem to have mastered. Most people seem to appear to listen when, in fact, they are only waiting for your mouth to stop moving so they can form a response. Being a good listener is an art; you have to really make it a point to pay attention to what others have to say, rephrase what they say, and try to respond to their words in a way that shows what a good listener you are. Being a good listener is a great quality. Let’s work on adapting it.
When someone says something to you, rephrase it to them when you respond. It shows that you’re a good listener, and it helps you to remember what was said to you. For example, if someone tells you they are having a rough time getting pregnant, respond with, “It seems getting pregnant causes a lot of stress on people who are trying so hard. I certainly see why you are upset.” This shows that you heard, that you have a thought, and that you care.
Instead of responding with personal stories or with a different subject, try asking questions. It’s amazing how many questions you might have that you don’t ask because you’re too busy trying to figure out how to respond to others. Ask; especially if you don’t understand what someone is saying to you.
Don’t Offer Advice
Unless someone specifically asks for advice, try not to give it. It’s not always what people want. Sometimes they are merely looking for a way to vent their frustrations without hearing yet another person tell them how to live their life, what they are doing wrong, or how they would handle the situation. It is always easier to solve life’s problems from the outside.