There are thousands of ways we can spread happiness. Often times we can make others happy by doing something we rarely give a second thought to. Do you ever have conversations where a friend is telling you a story and all the sudden you realize you are thinking about something else entirely? Maybe you started thinking about everything on your to-do list, how hungry you are, or how you forgot to call your mom this morning. Other times you might be in a conversation and thinking about what you’re going to say next without listening to what the other person is saying at that moment.
Very few master the art of active listening, but the more you focus on giving your full attention to others, the more appreciated and respected they’ll feel. You’ll realize that your connections and communication skills become stronger when you take steps towards being a better listener.
Here are some tips on how to be an active listener:
1. Look at the person talking. It sounds pretty straight forward, but turning your eyes and body to face the person will show them that you are engaged in the conversation.
2. React accordingly. Give verbal feedback when appropriate like asking them questions relevant to what they’re saying.
3. Reduce distractions. Turn down or off the radio or TV, put down your magazine, and focus on the conversation.
4. Give positive non-verbal cues. Be aware of positive non-verbal cues you can include such as nodding your head, maintaining eye contact, or raising your eyebrows. You should also think about negative non-verbal cues you might be inadvertently sending like crossing your arms over your chest.
Do you feel like you’re an active listener? Are any of these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. It’s the first day of the Happy Note a Day Challenge on ChallengeLoop! It’s not too late to join! There are over 90 people in it spreading happiness already. Make some new friends and join the fun here: http://www.challengeloop.com/challenge/happy-note-a-day
11 thoughts on “Spreading Happiness Through Active Listening”
It’s also important to think of ways to give non-verbal clues you’re listening when it’s a phone, email or texting conversation. So much of our interactions aren’t in person anymore we have to be aware of the message we give to people who just want to be really heard.
Now, I know I’m an active listener
Great post. It’s amazing how the smallest gestures can really make someone else’s day. Just reading your blog makes me happy. Feel free to swing by my blog. I think you’ll be able to relate!
🙂 🙂 🙂
I must be an active listener then! I learned the art of listening and not interrupting…that’s a big issue too. I purposefully keep my lips closed. That reminds me that it is that person’s time to speak. I focus completely on them and not worry about all of the things that I’m thinking about that I just have to say! Great post! You make me HAPPY!
Great post and suggestions. By being fully present and focused on listening rather than responding or the next to do, we bless others. I believe that listening is an extremely important skill for relationships. I wrote a post on listening called “Are You Listening” if anyone is interested, blessings, Brad
Would love to read your post, Brad!
This sounds very much like the wonderful Buddhist practice of Satsang — sacred listening: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2011/10/13/satsang-sacred-listening/
This is a great reminder on what it means to actually listen to someone! I’m an introvert that suffers from NVLD (among other things that make social interactions difficult). I have difficulty making eye contact with others and often times am distracted by a hundred different things at any given moment. Listening to others is a bit of a pain point for me and is frustrating for both myself and those I’m attempting to listen to. I appreciate how you’ve laid this out in clear, easy-to-follow guidelines. It’s very helpful for someone like myself who needs constant reminders about what it means to truly listen to someone and how to convey to that person that I am giving them my undivided attention. Thanks so much for posting!
So glad you enjoyed it!