Are You Really Being a Good Listener?

Find out three guidelines to being a good friend.

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!

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest