How to be a Good Listener.

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"Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.".

Our days are filled to the max with words. 

We are all speaking to everyone around us, verbally and non-verbally. 

We all have something to say, but is anyone really listening? 

Being a good friend or spouse requires us to have the skill of listening. To actively listen to others when they speak to us, not just hear them, is a needed skill for all relationships. Are we really listening to those important people in our lives? When we have a million things going on in our lives, it may be easy to zone out when people speak. However, we all need to stop and really listen, especially to our spouse, kids, family and close friends. 

Sharpening our listening skills add so much value to the relationship with that person. Trust being one of the values added. 

Are you a good listener? Sharpen your listening skills.
Derivative from Original photo by Marcela Escandell . Used with CC

When someone I am speaking to really shows an interest in what I’m saying, it makes me feel like they care, I’m important to them and they are here for me. 

How do you “really” listen to your spouse and friends?

Here is a general list of things we can do to show we are not just hearing but truly listening.

1. “Look at me when I’m speaking to you”. Yep, my mom was right. When we look at the speaker, making eye contact, shows we are paying attention to the speaker, they are important and they have all our focus. This also shows respect. 

2. Turn off distractions like the cell phone and TV.  You are not listening, you are only hearing what others are saying if you are on your cell phone or watching TV. It shows them that what they are saying isn’t truly important to you. eeekkkk…I’m guilty of this one. 

3. Show that you are listening by responding to them by occasionally nodding your head, saying yes, no, hmmm-mmm or something appropriate for the situation. Also facial expressions like smiling, for example, may show the speaker you are truly listening to them.  

4. Do not interrupt. Listen till they are finished speaking. Do not jump in with your counter argument or defense. Try to listen, to understand their point of view. Interrupting may only frustrate the one speaking. 

5. Listen with your heart. Pray God gives you wisdom to truly listen and understand what is spoken. 

6. When the speaker has stopped, ask questions that help clarify what they have said or offer a summary of what they have said. This may help ensure you understand what was spoken. 

7. Pray that God would guide you in any and all responses that you give. Giving Him honor in all you say and do. 

James 1:19

“My dear brothers and sister, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”

At the end of the conversation, it’s really all about making them feel heard and that you think what they have to say is important. It doesn’t have to mean you completely agree with them, but that you are listening and you are here for them. 

In what ways do you feel others are truly listening? Did I leave anything off my list? Please share in the comments below. 


Starla J. 

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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  1. Mandee Pogue

    April 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I always mindfully put the phone away and make direct eye contact when I talk to people.

  2. Starla J.

    April 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    That's great. I need to work on that one.

  3. chrissyluther

    April 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Sounds weird sometimes, but, in addition to asking questions, recapping/summarizing what was said helps also. Great post!

  4. Melissande

    April 29, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I like number 5 a lot. I often want to jump in and add my own opinion, but as I age I'm learning that listening – truly listening is an invaluable skill. I once heard that if your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth you're listening, but if it's not then you're only waiting for your turn to speak. Not sure how true it is, but it stood out to me!

  5. Samantha Ford-Godette

    April 30, 2015 at 1:45 am

    I try to be a good listener but with so many things to do, I admit I get distracted. I am going to try harder to be a better listener especially to my daughter and husband.

  6. Coupon Gal (Andi)

    April 30, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    still could work on eye contact

  7. Brandi Davis

    April 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Oh how right our mother's were! Distractions are a big one for me. If someone is looking at something else, I always feel that they are not listening to me.

  8. Starla J.

    May 1, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I like that saying. I've never heard it before but it speaks truth.

  9. Starla J.

    May 1, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Me to!! Thanks for commenting.

  10. Starla J.

    May 1, 2015 at 12:15 am

    We all are working on something.

  11. Starla J.

    May 1, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Me to, Brandi. I'm working on that one.

  12. Jennifer Tammy

    May 1, 2015 at 4:34 am

    #7 is soooo key. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  13. Starla J.

    May 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I agree!! Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Sheryl at

    May 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I agree Chrissy! Spending time thinking of replies or even questions can make me "me-focused." By repeating the other person's point I can stay focused on them rather than myself.

  15. tina roberge

    May 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Having the patience to show the other person that you are a willing listener and not jump in the middle or assume you know what's coming next, is really key! This is a great post, and I have to post it out!

  16. Melissa Haag

    May 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    This is a great reminder. I tend to listen to respond, not listen to listen lol.

  17. [email protected]

    May 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Great post. One time I went on a food tour with ten others for four days. This one guy was such a great listener. He asked questions and seemed to care about those answers. On the 4th day I asked him about this and he said, he was a writer. Writers ask questions about others. He made everyone feel interesting and special. I learned a great lesson from him. He taught me how to be a writer.

  18. Lil at Embracing the Lovely

    January 14, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Love these! They are neccesary even moreso in this digital age!

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