Time to revisit one of my favorite topics, listening. Recently I had a discussion with someone who pointed out just how rare it is to have someone just listen to them. She contrasted people who really just listen with those who fall into two other categories, although I tend to think they are subsets of the same category, neither one of which is “good listener”. One, the people who are simply waiting for their chance to talk, and secondly the people who go beyond that and make any situation a chance to tell you about themselves.
You all know the type, and maybe even some of you are that type. When you share your pain or your joy, they always have to, in turn, tell about a painful event of their own, maybe even going so far as to hint that their’s was somehow more painful.
How many times have you talked about a painful experience, or just had a conversation, and had the other person simply shut up and let you talk? I’d be willing to bet it’s not been often, and if it has been often, consider yourself very, very lucky.
If you truly want to help people, make them feel important, and loved, or just want to learn how to make a more positive impression on people, instead of focusing on saying the right thing, or the witty thing, learn when to simply shut up and listen.