Most people think that they are good listeners, but sadly this isn’t always the case. Lots of people find themselves thinking about other things when someone is talking to them, or they are just waiting for their chance to speak.
If you can relate to this, you should try to work on your listening skills. Being a bad listener makes life harder, as listening helps us to understand others and empathize. It also helps you to increase your interactions with the outside world so that you can improve your communication skills and build meaningful relationships.
Thankfully you only need to learn one thing to become a good listener.
The Problems That Stand In The Way Of Being A Good Listener
There are lots of things that make people bad listeners, but one of the main issues is impatience. Impatient people struggle to be good listeners, as they are not fully involved in what the other person is saying. Instead of listening to their friend, they are just waiting for their chance to talk. As soon as there is a pause in the conversation they will interrupt their friend or cut them off.
Another problem is getting distracted easily. When someone starts talking, the other person is fully focused, but after a few minutes they are no longer listening because they are focused on something else, such as a text message or a bird flying past.
Another issue is tiredness. Some people are normally good listeners, but they become bad listeners in the evening when they are too tired to focus on what the other person is saying.
Can you relate to any of these listening problems? Many people think that they are good listeners, but in reality they think too highly of themselves. If you want to know if you are a good listener, ask your partner or your best friend or your housemate and see what they say. This will give you an honest answer, and it may also help you to work out the cause of your listening problems.
How To Become A Good Listener
The one thing that you need to do to become a good listener is to repeat other people’s words. If you are hanging out with your friend and they say, “I don’t like my next door neighbor’s cat because it is always scratching my door,” you could say “The cat scratches your door? – Does it do that every day?” When you repeat what the other person is saying, you show them that you are listening properly and that you care about the conversation.
The main reason why this works so well is because it is active listening rather than passive listening. Instead of being a silent member of the conversation, you are actively taking part in the discussion and trying to understand the other person.
What You Need To Do Now
It is easy to implement this listening trick into your daily life. Simply make sure to repeat some of the most relevant things that the other person is saying. You can also add an element of support and validation when you repeat the other person. For instance if someone said, “I was told off at work for someone else’s mistake and it was really frustrating,” you could say “You were frustrated that you were told off, I can understand that. I imagine I would feel the same way!”
While this listening trick is very effective, it is important to moderate how often you repeat other people. You want to seem like a supportive, good listener, not an annoying person who repeats everything!
It can also be useful to summarize when someone has finished telling you a story. This will reassure them that you understood what they said, and it also gives you the chance to clarify what you have heard.
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