How Can I Become a Better Listener?

Nick Slade

Written by: Nick Slade

Nick Slade

Nick spent 20 years in the dating scene before marriage. He has always been the guy friends would come to for advice on relationships, and he developed a knack for giving helpful insights. After college, Nick was a disc jockey for a few years, when the love generation was still alive, so Nick has a lot of relevant experience to draw from when it comes to every aspect of dating, falling in love and screwing things up. He holds Bachelor's degree in humanities and a slew of master’s credits in journalism. Nick is a news junkie and tries to keep up on the latest non-fiction when he has time. He has published two books on how to win at dating and relationships.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Listening is the key to communication. Talking is only useful if you know what you’re responding to and use words as a shared pipeline to convey emotions and solve problems.

The first way to become a better listener is to stop talking. Forget the monologue in which you just tell your girl what’s on your mind and what your day was like. Hear what she has to say, and use that as the basis for a two-way dialogue.

Clear your mind of all the things you want to get off your chest, concern yourself with her feelings and mood, put your ego in your back pocket for now and ask some questions.

Most people ask the usual questions, like “How was your day?” but they never listen to the answers. Force yourself to hear the answer by always asking a follow-up question. If you respond to the small details, she will know her words and feelings are important to you.

Tune in to the tone of her voice, which can tell you more than her words. “Ohhhh…it was all right, I guess,” can mean something got under her skin today, but she knows it’s not worth trying to get it through to you.

So, dig it out of her. Surprise her with a little sensitivity and intuition. “Something’s bugging you a little bit. What is it?”

In order to listen well, you have to make her the center of attention. Turn off the news, get close, massage her neck and respond with brief words of support and more questions that deepen the line of conversation.

You may enjoy the rewards of a woman who feels understood and appreciated so much that you will begin to listen better all the time.

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