What Happens When You Listen More And Talk Less
The art of listening does not come easily to most and it really is that—an art. That means it must be learned, practiced, and perfected. Everybody wants to talk. And in our true nature, we all want to be the center of attention. It’s the reason we find so many people who talk way too much. They were not fortunate enough to have someone like a close friend or family member tell them to shut it. And while it may seem like you win a conversation if you get to share the most information and tell the most stories, isn’t there actually nothing more powerful than knowledge? And if you are talking, you are not acquiring knowledge, are you? So you are doing yourself a disservice by yapping. Try talking less and listening more. See what happens.
People will like you more
Next time you go to a party, make it a point to ask others questions about themselves. Try to talk as little as possible, and always redirect the conversation to the other person. I can almost promise you that when you leave, you will receive reports that people loved you, and that you were the most popular guest. But…you barely spoke, and the people love you? It’s because everyone appreciates someone who listens to them.
There will be fewer misunderstandings
Often, we think we know what someone is going to say before they are done talking. So, we cut them off. We finish their sentence. But, we are often wrong about what they were going to say and they get even become frustrated or angry with our assumptions.
People will confide in you more
Do you often find that good friends and family members didn’t tell you about big news in their lives? You had to hear about it from a third-party, or only heard about it by the time it was old news? That is because nobody likes to share their big news with someone who won’t to give them their moment to shine. If you generally talk too much, people will not invite you into their celebratory moments. They know you will make it about you. When you start listening more, people will share their exciting and personal updates with you more.
You will find that you don’t like some people
This may seem sad, but it is better to figure it out sooner rather than later. You may have people in your life that you don’t like very much, and you don’t even know it! You don’t know it because you do most of the talking, so they never got to reveal certain sides of their personality that you really wouldn’t agree with. You won’t really know your inner circle until you listen more, and then you may learn that you don’t want some of them in your inner circle.
People will give you more power
When it comes time in your work for someone to be promoted to a position of power, you are more likely to be a candidate if you have been a good listener to your colleagues all along. People want to feel that the person in charge of their fate and wellbeing listens to their needs. Nobody will nominate you to be promoted if they feel you never listen to them.
You will know what makes people tick
The more you listen to someone, the more you understand what her motivations and fears are. The more you listen, the more you get to know what really makes someone tick, and can better navigate that relationship.
You realize how many words are wasted
When you listen to others, you realize how often people nervously talk about things that do not matter, or how often people rant about things that are of no interest to other people. You may realize, with some embarrassment, that you used to do that. But it’s better to know that than not know it and continue on that way.
You can better decide in whom you confide
Before, you may have shared a lot of personal information with many people without even realizing how much power you handed over by doing so. You just wanted to be entertaining, or interesting, but in doing so you may have shared very private details that you don’t really want strangers to possess.
You will formulate better answers
When you are just eager for your turn to talk, you don’t really listen to what the other people are saying. You have prepared your response before they even started talking. When you really make a point to listen, you can respond in a way that is intelligent, thorough, and moves the conversation forward in an efficient way.
You seem less selfish
Maybe you don’t over talk to be selfish. Maybe you are nervous that you are not interesting so you talk to compensate for that. But, when people talk too much and dominate conversation, they do appear selfish.
You will find the other good listeners
People who are good listeners tend to find other good listeners. They don’t want to spend time with the over talkers who just take advantage of their listening skills. Most good listeners have probably been avoiding you when you talk too much, because you are exhausting. When you become a good listener yourself, other good listeners will befriend you.
And people will listen when you speak less
Nobody wants what they can get too much of. Translation: when you spoke too much, people didn’t listen at all. The sound of your voice was a cue for them to close their ears. On the flipside, when you don’t speak often, people know that when you do, you choose your words carefully and it is worth paying attention.
Some friends may come back
You may not have realized it, but you may have lost some friends over the years because you were not a good listener. Nobody wants to feel like they are a free therapist to their friends. That is exhausting. If you notice some friends giving you less of their time, it may be because they never got to speak when you hung out. And they got tired of that.
You will feel more relaxed
Always having to come up with the next interesting entertaining story to tell is exhausting. We all need time alone with our thoughts, and silence, to feel rejuvenated. If you used to feel exhausted after social events, it is probably because you spoke the whole time.
You will appear wiser
Have you ever noticed that some of the most respected sages have a quietness about them? They are wise because they remain quiet and gather information.