Are You a Good Listener?

by:  Rita Duponty

I personally do not believe in New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions are things that we should already be doing every day. Better yet, work on something each day to improve yourself. Communication skills should be at the forefront. Getting along with your family, friends, and others brings great joy into your life. One such skill that will enhance all your relationship is being a good listener.

Are you a good listener? Do you dominate the conversation? Do you act like your listening; but are mentally tuned out? Or, are you busy thinking about what you want to say—but are not listening to the other person speaking? We have all done this at one time or another.   However, let’s see where and how we can improve.

Family
For most of us, family is the most important thing to us. Two-parent and single-parent households find it increasingly difficult to work, manage the household duties, and spend time with their children. Parents, whatever you are doing, STOP AND LISTEN to your kids. Don’t interrupt them when they start to speak; don’t overreact. The more you listen to your kids, the more confidence they will have in opening up to you. Take the time now to listen; children will grow and eventually leave the nest. So make wise use now of your time with them.

Friends
Do you dominate the conversation with your friend or friends? Show an interest in your friend’s life—not just yours. By asking your friend questions, and by listening to their response, you are showing a sincere interest in them. Your friendship will grow. To have a friend, you must be a friend. True friendships are priceless.

Others
Neighbors and strangers at times may need our advice or help. If we quickly walk away and tune out our neighbor or a stranger that is speaking, we may not be able to determine their need. Or, they might just be friendly. By not listening, you may lose out on making a great “new friend.” Slow down and listen.

Yes, I am also working on becoming a better listener. Are you listening?

(image of ear by: Public Domain Images)

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