Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

3 Characteristics of real listeners

TALKING

Shutterstock | fizkes

Dolors Massot - published on 01/26/20

Are you a good listener? Check yourself against these three things.

Conversation is a very important part of our relationships with others. By talking to each other, we clear up doubts, grow in friendship, and learn more about other ways of seeing life. Who doesn’t yearn to find someone who actually listens—a friend who can be trusted and to whom we can turn when we are going through a complicated situation that we don’t know how to deal with alone. Yet, not all conversations are equally beneficial. Finding someone who really listens is not always easy. Most of us tend to want to talk more than we listen.

Listening is a manifestation of love for the other person. It means being more interested in the other person than in ourselves for a while, opening ourselves to hear them and help them if we can by the very fact of listening. We should ask ourselves if we truly listen and attend to other people with the sole purpose of seeking their good. Do we even know what that really means?

What are the characteristics of a real listener?

1Real listeners aren’t controlling or manipulative.

Good listeners don’t want to extract more information than is needed to resolve the situation the person is raising. They don’t take advantage of the other person’s need to talk to manipulate them into inappropriate confidences. They don’t want to pry.

2They don’t judge.

Good listeners, above all, spend time with the speaker and show empathy: they put themselves in the other person’s place. The person who is speaking doesn’t need to be told whether what they’ve said or done is right or wrong (unless they ask for our opinion).

3They don’t try to preach.

The main objective should not be to “teach someone a lesson,” especially not prefabricated, generic advice. Each soul is unique and needs to be treated differently. Nor should the conversation be a time for personal showcasing of one’s experiences or acquired knowledge. It’s about the person we’re listening to, not about us.

Many times the people who approach us only need to share their concern or suffering, without needing us to tell them “what to do” next. This doesn’t mean that they won’t ever ask for an opinion or advice; the point is not to give it unless they ask.


JOAN OF ARC

Read more:
Can’t find a listening ear? Confide in the saints


CONVERSATION

Read more:
Do you know how to really listen?

Tags:
Relationships
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.