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I just want to share this set of listening guidelines I learned from counseling class from way back. It's practiced by Rogerian psychologists, and I think it provides clear guidelines on how to make a person feel listened to. :)

You are listening when...
1. You come quickly into my private world and let me be.
2. You really try to understand me when I don't make much sense.
3. You hold back your desire to give me good advice.
4. You don't take my problem away from me but trust me to deal with it in my own way.
5. You give me enough room to discover for myself why I feel upset and enough time to think for myself what is best.
6. You allow me the dignity of making my own decisions even though you feel I am wrong.
7. You don't tell me that funny story you are bursting to tell me before I'm finished stating mine.
8. You allow me to make my experience one that really matters.
9. You accept my gift of gratitude.
10. You realize that the hour I take from you leaves you a bit tired and drained.
11. You grasp my point of view even when it goes against your sincere convictions.
12. You accept me as I am, warts and all.
13. You don't offer me religious solace when you sense I'm not ready for it.
14. You look at me, feel for me, and really want to know me.
15. You spend a short valuable time with me and make me feel it is forever.


You are not listening when...

1. You do not care about me, and cannot care about me until you know something about me to care about.
2. You say you understand before you know me well enough--you come across as fake.
3. You have an answer for my problem before I have finished telling you what the problem is.
4. You sense that my problem is embarrassing and you are avoiding it.
5. You get excited and stimulated by what i am saying and want to jump right in before I invite your response.
6. You are trying to sort out all the details and you are not aware of the feelings behind words.
7. You are dying to tell me something or want to correct me.
8. You tell me about your experience, which makes mine seem unimportant.
9. You refuse my thanks by saying you haven't really done anything.
10. You need to feel successful.
11. You are disturbed by loaded words or abusive language.
12. You feel critical about my grammar or accent.
13. You come up with all the clever answers which have little to do with me.
14. You are communicating to someone else in the room.
15. You cut me off before I have finished speaking.

One thing that I realized, although it's not the intent of this post, is that a lot us really don't know how to listen. :-/
 

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This list is very true.
 
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It's ironic how so many of us want to be heard, yet at the same time we seldom listen.

Thanks for this. This is a great reminder for how important it is to listen to others because it is likely they want to be heard just like us.
 
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