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7 Strategies to Become a Good Listener

Misunderstandings are stressful. Feeling like a less-than-great friend is no fun either. If you struggle with either of these, this episode will help empower you to overcome them. Fixing this is all possible when you learn to be a good listener.

We’ll often hear we have to empathize and conceal our own problems in order to be a good friend. For those of us living with mental illness, this can be a challenge. Whether you’re having a bad day, or you have a disorder that restricts empathy, you may have asked yourself “can I still have good and loving relationships?”

Yes, you can.

You don’t need to be empathetic to be a good listener and a compassionate friend

This episode discusses seven techniques to improve your listening skills, no matter what mental illness you live with. Good listening can help tame your fear about relationships, meeting new people, lessen social anxiety, and boost your overall confidence. This will help you not only meet new potential friends, but also deepen all of your current relationships.

In case you’re curious, here are the seven techniques discussed in this episode.

  1. Listen to listen, not to reply.
  2. Pause before responding.
  3. Remember that we are individuals, with different experiences.
  4. 3 Strategies to understand their emotions (this isn’t just empathy!)
  5. How to speak up if you’re confused.
  6. Paraphrasing to deepen understanding.
  7. When to give advice and when it’s best not to.

Being a good listener will boost your confidence

I have used all seven of these techniques in my own life. They’ve helped my coaching and personal relationships more than I can quantify. I’ve felt way more confident about making friends, without having to hide one bit of who I am.

Being a good listener means you can be more authentic, open, and grow your support system. If you’re ready to have more peaceful, dedicated, and compassionate relationships, give this episode a watch!

After watching this, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

What new listening technique did you learn?

How do you think it will help your relationships?

As always, you can share your own insights, suggestions, and tips to help out all the other readers who will visit this page. You never know who’s relationship you might help save!

Likewise, if you know of a friend who’s stressed out in a relationship, consider forwarding this blog to them. These techniques might be exactly what they need to patch things up.

Here’s to positive transformation in your relationships! Thanks for watching, commenting, and sharing.

How close are you to living a life you love? Take the quiz here!

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  1. Kristen M. Fusaro-Pizzo

    Thank you for sharing this blog! I LOVE your point about NOT giving advice! Sometimes we just want someone to hear us, just as you said.

    • Arien Smith

      Awesome, I’m so glad you found this helpful! I really appreciate your comment, too.

  2. Heather LeGuilloux

    Great tips to listen more effectively (especially the first one.. I’m great at listening to listen as a counsellor, but this often goes by the wayside in my regular life for some reason). I also appreciate that you provided a vlog with the post – I bet this will help your readers get to know you better and incorporate the information in a different way. Great job! 🙂

    • Arien Smith

      Hi Heather! I’m loving the video work, since I feel it’s so much more personal and engaging. I totally agree about the social versus work life too. I’ve had to catch and correct myself there too. Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS

    Great post, I have to share. Most of us, do not listen as we should. I know that I do not listen as much as I should.

    • Arien Smith

      Thank you for the comment and share! I think we can all boost our listening skills, for sure.

  4. Donna DeRosa

    I agree about listening and not replying or giving advice unless it is requested. So often we want to share our similar stories in hopes that it makes the person feel better. Usually, the person just wants someone to listen. We can share our stories at a more appropriate time.

    • Arien Smith

      Yes, I totally agree. Balancing self-disclosure with listening is the real key. It’s a bit different for every relationship, but when in doubt, just listen. 🙂

  5. Sherry kallergis

    A very helpful perspective. It is not always easy to be a good friend.

    • Arien Smith

      So glad it helped you out! Being a good friend can be tough, but fortunately learning to be a good listener is a skill that can help a lot.


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