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7 ways to know if you're a good listener

by Esther Ami 2 months ago in how to
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Do you listen well enough?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

Introduction

Being a good listener is one of the most important skills you can have in life. It allows you to connect with people, build relationships and strengthen your own understanding of others. But sometimes it's hard to know if you're actually a good listener. Here are seven signs that might help:

You don't have to talk.

If you're a good listener, you don't have to talk.

This may sound counterintuitive, but it's true. As a good listener you are interested in what someone else has to say and that means your goal is to listen first and respond second—or not at all. You show that you care about someone by listening well; this shows them that their opinion matters and that you're there for them no matter what the topic is. The best part? You don't even have to agree with their opinion! Just acknowledge it and move forward with a new topic or conversation altogether if needed...

Being able to let go of talking yourself is one of the most important skills in being an attentive listener because it shows others how much they mean business when they talk (which is why people end up doing this).

People feel comfortable sharing problems with you.

As a good listener, you're likely to make people feel comfortable around you. And when someone feels comfortable enough to share their problems with you, it means that they trust and respect you enough to do so.

It's not always easy for people to open up about their problems because they're afraid of being judged or criticized. If they feel like they can tell their deepest secrets and feelings with no fear of judgment from a good listener, it's probably because the listener has been able to create an environment where trust and sharing are encouraged.

Good listeners also have certain skills that will help them make others feel heard and understood—like active listening skills (e.g., asking follow-up questions), paraphrasing what others say (in simpler words), and avoiding interrupting them during conversation time–all of which show empathy towards the speaker too!

You give advice sparingly.

  • Give advice sparingly. If someone asks for advice, do your best to give it in a way that he or she will be able to take it and put it into practice. If you're not sure that's going to happen, then don't bother giving the advice in the first place.
  • Don't give advice unless you are asked for it. Some people seem to enjoy dispensing unsolicited wisdom—and no matter how well-meaning their intent may be, this isn't always helpful (or appreciated).
  • Don't give advice unless you are sure it will be helpful. The last thing anyone wants is a lecture on how they should live their life! Instead of making assumptions about what someone needs to hear from you based on your own experiences or worldviews, learn more about their personal situation before offering any suggestions at all.* Don't give advice unless you are sure it will be received well.* Don't give advice unless you are sure it will be acted upon

Sometimes you just wait until the person is good and ready to say what they want to say.

Sometimes, you just wait until the person is good and ready to say what they want to say.

When someone is speaking and it's clear that they're still trying to figure out how to start their thoughts—or even what their thoughts are—you don't have to talk. Sometimes listening twice as much as you talk will actually help them come up with something or find a way through the confusion, which can be especially helpful when it comes time for your friend or coworker or family member (or stranger!) to share something difficult.

You're usually not in a hurry when you're talking with people.

If you're a good listener, you don't feel like you have to talk all the time. You can be a good listener by listening twice as much as you talk.

If someone is talking and it's important for them to talk, and they're not asking for anything from you, then it's good to let them do most of the talking.

You don't interrupt people and rush them through their stories because your mind is always racing with other thoughts or ideas of what you want to say next while they are in the middle of a sentence.

You sometimes let the other person do most of the talking.

You allow the other person to do most of the talking.

This will make them feel comfortable, which is essential for a good conversation. After all, you don't want to have an awkward silence or be interrupted while you're speaking. And if they're doing all the talking, they'll feel more comfortable asking questions or giving their opinion during your next conversation together (which also means that you'll get more information from them).

You listen without overanalyzing.

You might be thinking, "I'm not a therapist!" And that's true—you don't need to be a psychologist or psychiatrist to be a good listener. But listening is still a skill you can develop and get better at. It just takes practice! Good listeners know that they don't have to control the conversation; they only have to make sure that the other person feels heard. They stay present with the speaker and try not to overanalyze what's going on. They don't jump to conclusions about what someone says, nor do they interrupt if someone pauses for more time than is necessary (it can feel awkward when your friend suddenly stops talking mid-sentence). Instead, good listeners let people finish their thoughts before responding so as not to judge them prematurely: "Oh no, I knew she was cheating on me..."

Good listeners are often those people who can get others to open up to them.

A good listener is someone who can consistently get others to open up and talk about themselves. When you're a good listener, people are more likely to trust you and confide in you. That's because they know that when they speak out, no matter what it is that's bothering them, it won't be used against them later on or held against them by the other person.

This might seem like a strange thing to say: "good listeners are often the ones who can listen." But it makes sense if you think about how much time we spend thinking about ourselves instead of really listening to what other people have to say. The reason why most of us aren't very good at listening is simple: We're too busy thinking about ourselves!

Conclusion

So, how are you doing? Are you a good listener? You may have already identified some of your own strengths and weaknesses, or maybe this is the first time you've thought about it. Either way, I hope that these tips have helped you become more aware of what makes a good listener—and what doesn't. If nothing else, they're useful reminders of how important listening skills are in any relationship!

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About the author

Esther Ami

Words are powerful and it matters how we use them. I use my words to build and impact, I use my words to lift and inspire. I am a words-person, I love words.

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