Are You Really Being a Good Listener? | Reader's Digest

Are You Really Being a Good Listener?

Find out three guidelines to being a good friend.

Jeanne Marie Laskas from Reader's Digest | August 2011

Question: I feel like I talk too much. I listen when friends want to discuss their problems, but sometimes what they say starts me off on a rant about myself. I feel like this annoys my friends, but how else do I talk to them about what’s going on in my life? Am I being rude? Are there some guidelines I can follow to keep from being seen as a self-obsessed chatterbox?

Advice: Yeah, you’re being rude. But it’s good that you caught yourself.

Guideline No. 1: Listen. Look the person in the eye as he talks. Ask questions to elicit more information, or simply say “Is that right?” a lot. Paraphrase what they are talking about a few times to help yourself listen even better.

Guideline No. 2: Wait until you are asked about yourself.

Guideline No. 3: No, really — wait!

  • Your Comments

    • T76

      I can’t stand it when some one says “Is that right?”….After the 3rd or 4th time they say it…I wanna shout “Of course it’s right or I wouldn’t be saying it.” There are other ways of being a good listener as you have mentioned. But asking a stupid question over and over just gets annoying.

      • hello

        that goes to show that the person you’re talking to is not understanding/comprehending whatever it is you’re saying or that your friend doesn’t have any interests AT ALL to whatever topic it is you’re telling them. 

        • Sherman 42

          i agree with you