Has anyone ever said to you after a long conversation: “I’ve never told anyone before” or “I didn’t know this feeling until I did?” This expression can refer to the speaker’s comfort and your listening style, ie. You were a good listener in that conversation, but at the same time, did your friend ever interrupt you when you were talking to him, or looking around the room, or when your friend was on the phone before you had an idea? Done, or do you give him advice here and there that you don’t think fits your topic? Have you ever felt like you weren’t getting the attention you deserve for what you’re saying and the importance of what you’re saying?
It seems that we don’t have very good listeners in our lives, but a bad listener is not necessarily a bad person. It could be our friend, or our family or even ourselves, but none of us are good listeners. Time, it is human nature to be distracted by what comes to mind.
What are the things that make our hearing worse? What do we need to do to be good listeners? This article will explain some relevant psychological and skill strategies.
What you need to know about listening and listening well
First of all, there is a difference between listening and listening or hearing. Listening is an innate ability that most people have, but listening is not mastered by all people. We hear spoken sounds and letters. It doesn’t require us to try, but we do need the ability to listen. To focus and try to understand the reading is similar to the effort to understand, and we find the Holy Qur’an uses and combines the word “listen”. And listen to it “When the Qur’an is recited, listen to it and listen.” So listening and hearing is listening to the heart and mind, and it requires a different effort than listening.
Am I a good or poor listener?
In fact, it is much easier to distinguish between bad listening behaviors than good listening behaviors. A person with poor listening skills usually:
- Fidgets, such as fiddling with a pen, knots, or fingernails, may also tap the table or be distracted by the contents, which are not necessarily intentional, but indicate that the listener has lost focus or intimacy. For the speaker’s speech.
- He is distracted by the thoughts that come to him and may express this by looking at the phone or the surroundings in the room.
- It does not make eye contact towards the speaker, and avoidance of eye contact is usually associated with self-touching, such as the listener touching his ear, or scratching his neck, sometimes with slight grunting or teeth chattering (1).
Why am I not loved? Why am I failing to be a good listener?
Psychological and social studies suggest that there may be several underlying causes:
- Reasons for the speakerFor example, if his language is not clear, or if the meaning of his speech is unclear or because of the length of his speech.
- Reasons are due to the nature of the situation that connects the speaker and the addresseePrepared, archived conversations with no real exchange of knowledge, such as job interviews, or in politics where smiles are exchanged and sometimes inauthentic self-talk (3).
- Some of them belong to us, the listeners, and here we list three main reasons:
- 1- Emotional attachment style:
In any way we interact with people and ourselves, we manage our feelings and emotions. The attachment style is formed during childhood, so if the parents take care of the child naturally, without overdoing it or neglecting it, the child will be raised with a secure attachment style and will be a good listener. If the parents did not listen to him enough during childhood or the child was neglected in emotional care or experienced too much attention that stifled and constantly controlled him, his attachment style may be an insecure avoidant attachment style or an insecurely anxious attachment style. ; Because he remembers the restraint or control that follows intimate relationships, he quickly ends any intimacy with people, and this makes him an unpleasant listener, avoids them out of fear of intimate relationships, or worries about exchanging attention and attention and expects loss if he approaches the other (4).
But childhood history is not eternal history. If we learn some useful strategies, if we learn how to empathize with those around us, we can change and become better listeners.
- 2- Proximity Relationship:
This happens in close and intimate relationships, not just because we disagree with others, but because we think we know what they are saying. We often say, “I know. What you mean,” and interrupt before making up the speaker’s mind. Prejudice is more common in close relationships, for example, spouses think they understand each other more than strangers, but the truth is not always the case, because as close as we get, we lose interest in what relationships are based on, and then we think we know what the other person will say.
A researcher from the University of Chicago conducted an experiment that addressed the dependence of close relationships. Be different today,” he asked the husbands for an explanation, and the explanation is usually the same, but the stranger gives many possibilities to a sentence, and it implies that intimacy in relationships neutralizes the edge of flexibility in another. Perceiving the other party’s phases or its changing meanings (4).
Therefore, happy marriages or successful relationships are usually short conversations like, “How are you?” One researcher says that long conversations like focusing on responses to Or focus on everyday conversations and sentences, and try to understand and extend them in order to restore interest in the relationship (4).
- 3- Passion to win:
We often forget that communication is a two-way process, it is not a competition, especially when communicating with our family and friends, winning an idea or a decisive answer is not important. Good communication is a positive value. Our preparation to respond and respond during a speaker’s speech distracts us and makes us good listeners (3).
We always try to change the way we interact with people by changing the way we talk but we never change the way we listen, listening is half of communication, attentive listening is not an easy skill, it needs practice. .
How can I become popular with people by listening?
- First: Give yourself a chance to learn something new
Asking is based on a simple idea that makes us want to: challenge our prior knowledge and expectations for the future. Listening is a social and cognitive activity that is influenced by our past experiences and expectations about the future. We pay more attention to what we ask in a job interview than to a friend we meet again. Usually we focus on the information we want to know about the new. Flexibility such as work, working hours, because our experience is not previous work, for example, but it can lose most of the information we ask, and can distract us; Thus, according to psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, effective listening is an emotional reception of others (empathic receiving) that requires us to empty our minds, souls, and preconceptions and listen only (5).
- Second, listen more than you talk
When we do so, the speaker is the center of our attention, and we don’t begin preparing our response until the speaker has finished. Many people don’t listen with the intent to understand, but with the intent to respond, so researcher Ferrari coined his own version of the “80/20 rule,” which means that his conversation partner should talk 80% of the time. He or she should speak only 20%, and he tries to use his time to ask questions rather than try to express his own opinion, although he admits that it is more difficult to suppress our desire to talk than to listen, but patience, impulse control and the quality of listening can be learned (6). ).
- Third: Be slow before jumping to judgments and conclusions
Do not jump to ready-made answers or hasty conclusions, do not repeatedly and resentfully correct mistakes in the conversation or give quick advice, but try to understand what the other person is saying and ask questions that are relevant to what he is saying. .
- Fourth: Show your interest through body language and facial expressions
We need to listen to our mind, body and facial expressions, and the language of the eyes is one of the most important languages of the body, and the position of our body affects the image of our thoughts in another. Maintaining our body eye contact, gesture, and posture not only shows that we are listening, but that we care about what he is saying (1).
- Fifth: Don’t be busy on your phone when the other person is talking to you
Don’t let distractions ruin your relationships with others. We live in an age characterized by many distractions such as cell phones, internet, television, and so it is very difficult to have meaningful conversations with their presence, such as active listening, so we must provide the conversation with something appropriate or turn off distracting electronic devices (2).
- Sixth: Express your sympathy for the problems of others
There is nothing better than having others love us, that we empathize with what they say and feel, and that empathy helps us better understand other people’s situations and circumstances, remembering the words of Ralph Nichols: “The simplest human need is the need to understand, and the best way to understand people is to listen to them” (2 ).
- Seventh: Ask for clarification and inquire about details
If the other person wants implicit proof of how seriously you’re listening, when the speaker’s language starts to get unclear, or if we’re not sure we’re getting the message, there’s nothing more than talking about what we have. Finally asked, so the speaker is sure we got the right idea.
Finally, people think that listening is a passive endeavour, but from this false assumption comes the assumption that listening is a waste of time, but actually listening well earns the trust and respect of those around. We, effective communication with people, and even that helps a lot to understand the human being and the differences in our natures and ways of thinking, and he who doesn’t listen well speaks for himself.
Sources and References:
1- Effective Listening & Aphorisms, Jeff Thompson, Psychology Today Magazine.
2- The Power of Listening, Lames A, (2015).
3- Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill, Bernard D. Ferrari, (2012).
4- You’re Not Listening, Kate Murphy, (2020).
5- Nonviolent Communication: The Language of Life, Marshall P. Rosenberg, (2003).
6- Simple Keys to Effective Communication, Clifford N. Lazarus, Psychology Today Magazine.
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