I’ve always been a fairly good listener. I tend to talk a lot, but when someone needs me to listen I can be that person as well. Here are some of my tips for becoming a better listener.
If you have an abundance of acquaintances but no best best friends you might not be called on to be a good listener very often. However, it’s really a good skill to develop, especially if you have kids that are starting to make their own friends and have their own problems. Being a good listener doesn’t necessarily come second nature to most people, it’s truly a skill that needs to be practiced. Here are some tips to becoming a good listener.
Try to be an active listener. Don’t just ask them to tell you about their problems and then zone out while thinking about what you need to put on your grocery shopping list. Keep eye contact with them, nod or “mum huum” in appropriate places, and ask questions when they are done speaking to clarify their main points.
If you think that you have some advice that would help them with their problem, then give it to them. If you have no advice, let them know that you understand that they are having problems and you are there to help support them.
Offer Your Assistance
Even if you can’t think of anything you can do to help them doesn’t mean that you have to sit idly by while your loved one suffers. You should ask if there’s anything that you can do to help them, especially if they have a concrete problem rather than an emotional one.
Most people just want to feel like their problem was heard and understood, but in some cases there might be something you could do to help. Your friend might be too shy to ask for your help, but if you offer your assistance they might gladly accept.
Be There in the Future
To become a really good listener you need to practice often. This means asking more questions and being more available to people when they need you. If your friend or family member has come to you with a problem be sure to tell them that you are always there to listen to them and be sure to check back in with them from time to time to see if they need your awesome listening skills again.
Being a good listener is being a good friend.