One of the problems in today’s society is that we don’t communicate. Most importantly, we don’t listen. There can be many reasons why you aren’t listening. Maybe you don’t want to hear something that is contrary to your ideas or you simply don’t want to know things. Here are a few ideas on how to become a better listener.
- Make eye contact with the other person; it shows they have your attention.
- Turn off your cell phone, so you’re not distracted from what someone has to say.
- Actually listen to what the other person is saying; it makes for a better and deeper relationship.
- Summarize what the other person has said. By summarizing out loud, you are sharing your interpretation of what they said. It gives the other person an opportunity to clarify things that may have been misinterpreted.
- If you have questions regarding what they said, ask them! Don’t just assume - that’s where misunderstandings originate.
- Let the other person talk. Don’t interrupt. It feels really good when someone listens and when they feel they’ve been heard, they may not need advice. Instead, maybe all they need is a hug!
- If you’ve been in a similar situation, share your experience, as it can help people feel good and less alone
It’s unrealistic to think you can get along in this world without embracing other people’s truths. By becoming a better listener, you also become a better friend and/or spouse.