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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Riley's Reflections- How to be a Better Listener

I like to think that I'm a good listener.  I remind people that they can always talk to me no matter what and I like to think that when I'm called on to cash in that offer that I will be the kind, thoughtful listener that they need in that moment.

I am totally kidding myself.  I am an awful listener.  I interrupt people, constantly.  I used to think that if I finished someone's sentence for them it showed that I was listening and that I totally understood what they were trying to say.  I was wrong, it's rude.  It's rude, and I've tried really hard to stop myself from doing it.  My track record is not great.

But this is something I've noticed about myself and something I want to work on.  I want to walk the walk and I want people to not only know that they can always talk to me but to know that if they do choose to talk to me I will actually be listening.  And because I think we all could practice our listening skills I'm going to share some of my tips so listen up.

1. Don't Interrupt

As you already know this is my personal downfall but I see it happen to other people all the time.  If someone is coming to you with their problems, value them and recognize how vulnerable that person has to be to share these things with you.  I personally hate talking about anything that is bothering me and the few times that I've voiced my problems and been interrupted has made me hate the process even more.  Even though the interruptions may be coming from a good place, they're interruptions none the less and they suck.

2. Don't Make it Personal

If someone comes to you with their problems that's exactly what they are- THEIR problems, so don't make it about you.  Feel free to share a personal experience if you think it will honestly help your friend but don't turn their vent sesh into your own.  Not everything your friend goes through has to remind you of "This one time..." or at the very least you don't always have to voice it.

3. Don't Just Tell Them What They Want to Hear

I have told my mom multiple times, in my most childish voice to, "Just be on my team!" after she points out the obvious flaws in my logic of why I'm currently upset.  I know it's not fair but in the moment sometimes I don't want to hear what's right, I just want to hear that I am right.  But obviously this isn't what I actually need, it's what I think I need but it's not what I actually need and she knows it.  If someone is coming to you with an actual problem it's most likely because they value you're opinion and they genuinely want your help.  So voice that opinion, but be gentle because more than help, sometimes people just want someone to be on their team.

Hopefully these tips can help you. Happy Listening!

Have any other tips to being a better listener?  Share in the comments below!




  1. Great post, loved these little reminders!

    Kelsey x

    1. Thanks for reading Kelsey, glad you liked it!

  2. Great advice - I think I am definitely guilty of the first two. I am going to work on stopping it now!


    1. Thanks for reading Claire and good luck!


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