How to behave and be a good listener

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Listen to the person, but do not let them sit on your neck.

Listen to the person, but do not let them sit on your neck.

Listening to someone in need of an emotional outlet is not always easy. This requires more effort than just nodding your head, pretending to be your full attention. Despite the emotions overwhelming him, or maybe thanks to them, the interlocutor will immediately feel the fake.
Show openness and kindness

You can show your partner your good attitude in different ways. And body language works even better than words. Tilt your head towards the interlocutor, take a position in which you do not rise above your partner, do not cross your arms over your chest and do not cross your legs, smile. If you are really close to the person, you can reassure them with touch. A word or gesture invitation to sit works great.

It is not always easy for people to start an emotionally important conversation. If you see that your partner is hesitant to speak first, ask a leading question. You should be mentally prepared for the fact that a lot of negative emotions will be poured on you. A person who is overwhelmed with feelings is hardly able to reasonably approach the problem and is not very sensitive to influence. Until your partner speaks out, until he relieves tension, all attempts to calm him down will lead to the opposite effect.

Listen actively

Psychologist Mark Goulston warns against three listening mistakes:

  1. To give advice. As a rule, a person does not need your advice, at least until emotions are raging inside him.
  2. Try to distract your partner by changing the subject. It may seem to you that you are helping, but from the outside it looks like unwillingness to listen, like neglect.
  3. Remain passive. It is important for the interlocutor to see that you not only listen, but also hear him. Most of the advice from the arsenal of active listening will be relevant here. For example, reflective listening, when the listener answers the speaker with his own words, only paraphrasing them. Non-verbal signs are very useful: a nod of the head, a concordant moo, expression of emotions on the face. Psychologists advise asking "hanging questions". For example: “And so you feel ...” In this case, it is worth focusing on “feel” - this encourages the person to talk about their feelings.
Understanding is more important than advice

This should be discussed in more detail. Communications specialist Michael Rooni suggests using a specific listening technique without decision.

Very often people do not need solutions to problems from you, they just need to speak out, be heard and understood, and share their pain.

Ask: "Can I help you with something?" - and if your partner needs your advice, he will tell you about it.

Psychologist Denise Marigold also warns against actively trying to comfort the speaker. If a spouse complains about problems at work, he hardly wants to hear what a wonderful employee he is, how he is doing great and that everything will be fine. First of all, he seeks understanding and support, and only then - your opinion.

Don't let it sit on your neck

If you succeed in following the previous recommendations, there is a great risk that you will be poured out too often. There are many people who tend to abuse their openness and willingness to listen. Moreover, such people are not busy solving their problems , but looking for an outlet. They can be very annoying, and it is quite difficult to refuse such a person without offending.

Psychologists suggest limiting the time allotted for listening. At the very beginning of the conversation, you should say something like: "I am listening to you, but in 5 minutes I need to call", "Let you tell me everything on the way" or "Tell me while we drink coffee."

An effective way to get rid of chronic complainants is to gently but unequivocally communicate that you understand their game. “You complain all the time, and it makes me sad, but nothing changes from your complaints. I would like to help, but you yourself have to do something ”- such words spoken to a loved one can hurt. But if you are in a healthy relationship, then this is the first step towards dealing with the problem.

If a person who is not particularly important to you claims your time and attention, then such a call will quickly save you from her society. After all, such people do not want to do anything.

We hope that our tips will help you play the role of a vest with dignity, and the ability to take your soul away will strengthen your relationship with friends and family. At the same time, do not let random people use your responsiveness - this will not only protect yourself, but also do the complainant a favor. What if they actually decide to change something in their lives ?
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By: Jess Lorinter

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