How to Be a Better Listener
Everyone’s been there: in a conversation with someone sharing something that seems important to them because they endlessly spew out words. But somehow, It’s not making sense to you. Then you snap out of your trance just as the person you are talking to asks you a question. Maybe it’s time for you to put effort into becoming a better listener. Here are a few tips that will help you become a better listener:
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Some people are such bad listeners that they literally do not listen. Try to be present in every conversation. You have to give people equal chances to be able to share what they need to be shared. When you’re not present, it means that your attention is elsewhere—on your phone, on other tasks, or on a million other things. This can make people feel like they aren’t being heard or that they don’t matter.
Understandably, there are conversations that are really boring. You might not find yourself interested in any way. If this is the case, try to listen really well. If given the opportunity, nudge the conversation towards a more interesting topic.
Don’t Listen Just so You Can Respond
Just like reading for a book report, students read just so they can comply. People listen so they can rebut or have an answer decent enough to pass off that they are listening. Try to be more curious about other people and understand their points of view and what they want to share, then you can reply to them naturally.
Ask More Questions
The best reply would be to questions. Instead of sharing a similar experience, try asking a follow-up question. When someone shares something with us, it can feel good to know they trust us enough to open up. We can also show them that we care by asking follow-up questions, like “How did that make you feel?” or “How did your sister react to that?”. Try your best to learn from the person you are talking to. We can’t experience everything in life or try to learn from our mistakes all the time. People with a variety of experiences surround us. If we take our time to really be curious, there are a lot of things we can learn from other people. Still, you should remember not to ask any and every question that comes to your mind.
Enjoy the Conversation
So many of us are worried about being a good listener and having a good conversation response. We want to be able to go into any conversation and make sure that we’re always showing the correct body language, saying the right things, and keeping up with the conversation.
But here’s the thing: you don’t need to do any of that! You just need to relax and enjoy the conversation. When you enjoy yourself during a conversation, you come off as interested and open—which is exactly what you want to be! Enjoying the conversation will bring more than just small talk. It will bring up interesting matters that could lead to deeper conversations.
Being a good listener is an important life skill. It’s not just about hearing what the person has to say. It’s about understanding what their words mean and making a connection with them.
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