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How to become a better listener
Good listening contributes to a better relationship.
The secret of a great conversation
Together with yourself, alone in togetherness
How to become a better listener. In most conversations, no one listens. People do not listen to each other but are only waiting for our turn to speak about themselves. They talk to the other, but they have a conversation with themselves.
For example, she says: “This afternoon, I found this very nice lunch shop in the city!”
A bad listener is mainly in conversation with himself. So he responds with words of the following meaning: “Nice, I also had lunch in such a nice place last week!”
And while the other person talks about these very nice dishes on the menu, the bad listener says: “Yes, in that restaurant where I was, they had great chicken sandwiches, very tasty! And such a nice waitress.”
A good listener lets the other person speak, and gives the other one the time to tell everything she wants about her experience in the nice lunch shop. And he would ask questions. “Oh what fun, where was it exactly?“, “And what did they have for special dishes on the menu?“, “What did you like the most about it exactly?”
The benefits of better listening
The above example seems absurd but contains an important element. Most people do not listen to others. They bring the stories of others along with their own filters and link back what they have experienced. Or worse: what they have heard from other people who have experienced something similar.
In essence, they are not interested in their partner (of the moment) at all, but only concerned about themselves.
Show that you think the other person is important
If you are really, truly, interested in the other person, then listening is a great quality to express that. And if others feel that you are really interested in them, they feel heard, they feel that they are important to you. If you are also important to them, this will make them very happy.
Listen with your heart
Mutual interest, real interest for each other, certainly deepen your friendship/relationship. So listen with your heart too.
As soon as you become better at listening, you immediately become a better friend, partner, father, mother, business partner or even stranger on the street. Listening is not always easy, but it helps you to improve the quality of áll your relationships. And that is incredibly valuable.
The world is not waiting for talkers. The world is waiting for listeners. For people that make you feel that you matter. That you are important enough to be heard. People whom you can tell your story, respect you, who allow you your dignity.
How to become a better listener
15 tips to become a better listener…
Learning to listen better isn’t difficult. But you will not have mastered it in one day. You will notice that it goes quicker for some people than for others. The tips below help you become a better listener. These are qualities that you can develop and the results will soon be noticeable.
1. Give listening priority
As soon as you get into a conversation, make sure to listen carefully and actively and give the highest priority to this discussion with your (conversation) partner.
2. Keep your thoughts in the moment
Do not wander off. As soon as you wander, the other can immediately see it in your body language. Your partner will immediately see if you are fed up with his story. That usually does not feel good, so try to prevent that.
3. Let the other person talk
Don’t constantly talk about yourself. Ask questions and let the other person do the talking. You can talk about yourself, but keep it short. You automatically feel whether you are dealing with someone who is really interested in you, and if / how much space there is for your story.
4. Listen carefully, without expectations
Listening is a great way to spread love. Give attention without expecting it back. You are developing yourself, that does not mean that other people also want to become better listeners. Some people will never ask for your story. Then that’s like it is.
5. Do not try to complement or fill in
Don’t try to complement the story when you think you know what the other wants to say. He wants to tell you. Also, don’t fill in every story with your own opinions, experiences and insights. Do not try to find a superior example. Just listen.
How to become a better listener – 15 tips to become a better listener
6. Don’t make it a contest
Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Deliberately drop a short silence after someone has finished talking. That creates peace and trust since the other person doesn’t have to be afraid that you will interrupt him or her. The other feels that there is room to tell more.
7. Don’t complete sentences
That really is the nastiest little habit on earth. Especially when you think you know what the other person wants to say and constantly finish the sentence wrongly. Let the other finish his sentences. Don’t hurry.
8. Excuse yourself during an interruption
If you have to do something else, or you just are thinking of something else for a moment, excuse yourself.
9. Turn your mobile in silent or vibration mode
Do not interrupt a conversation because of an illuminated screen. Give the face-to-face conversation a higher priority. Pretend that your mobile does not exist, then you give your conversation partner the feeling that he or she is extremely valuable to you.
10. Discover how much FUN it is to listen
Maybe you will find out, that in the end, it is much more fun to listen to your partner than talking about yourself. Your own feelings, thoughts, ideas… you know them already. By listening to your partner you learn more, you create more valuable moments and your world becomes richer.
How to become a better listener – This way you will be a conscious listener…
11. Don’t talk about yourself all the time
Talking about yourself is like fast food. Nice, for once in a while, no problem. But when you do it all the time, it might harm.
12. Make eye-contact
Take the time to say nothing at all for a moment. Just look in the eyes of the other. Not in a way that makes him/her uncomfortable, but in a way she/he feels and notices your attention.
13. Let the other notice that you are listening
When you say “yes” or “sure” our partner is aware that you are really listening. But… not too much, don’t exaggerate. Too much or too eager saying “Ohh” and “yes” is not active listening, it’s just irritating. It might even cause the other to think that you want to take over the conversation.
14. Don’t interrupt
Make it a point not to interrupt. Let people speak out. Most people like that!
15. Notice the difference!
Notice how the quality of your friendships/relationship(s) improve. And in the long term, you will be happy with it.
Listening is valuable
The better you become in it, the more valuable you will be for the people in your life. And the better the quality of your relationships will be. You will meet people with a major longing to talk about themselves. They are looking for attention. Sometimes that might be difficult. But it is wonderful when you can help them, support them.
You also will meet people who are better listeners than you are. And maybe then you are the one who is talking. That’s all fine! It is valuable to be aware of your skills as a listener, and improve them step by step. People who can listen are rare and very, very valuable. Let’s try to reduce the number of not-listeners!
How to become a better listener
It’s all about balance
Of course, nobody has to be silent all the time. Never to talk about yourself, as a kind of sacrifice. Maybe you will find out, that when you start listening, really taking notice of the other… When he/she feels heard, seen, then later… they have space to listen to you too. And you will have a great conversation, a real exploring the feelings of each other, growing in love and understanding.
When no balance is found, or if you really are not interested in what the other speaks about… not once but often, or all the time… then you might reconsider why you are together with this person. Or maybe, the two of you didn’t find your common ground yet; the things you are both interested in and that (will) make your relationship so great.
Do an inquiry
There is a really nice way to find out what kinds of things you are interested in. You can do an inquiry. In short, this is a special “technique” to investigate for yourself and/or with another, what interests you both. You ask each other a question, repeat it a few times and take enough time to let all kinds of answers come up. From your mind and from your heart. One speaks, the other is only listening. After some time you change roles. So do an inquiry on the topic: “Tell what is really, deeply, interesting you”.
When you have done this, you will know your partner’s interest and whether you have much in common or not. Maybe a whole new field of interests will be discovered between you. And while discussing them you can, again, use the tips above.
Read more in: Inquiry explained.
How to become a better listener
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