>Are you listening?

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I once heard someone say that one of the best ways to show respect to others is to listen with your full attention. There are many different types of listeners: some who listen with their full attention, some listen without interrupting but while trying to think of what to say next, some who interrupt someone who is talking with their opinions about what the person is saying, some who are selective listeners (only hearing what they want to hear or care about), and some who don’t listen at all.

To be a good listener, give the person who is talking to you your full attention. It’s okay to relate to people and talk about yourselves, too. This is how conversations are made, of course. But try not to make everything that the person is saying all about you. For instance, if someone tells you, “I got a new dog,” show your excitement for that person’s situation and truly listen to what they are saying, before you immediately start talking about your dog, why you don’t like a certain kind of dog, what you think about their situation, etc.

It’s especially important to be a good listener when a friend is going through a hard time or confiding in you. You could potentially push friends away if you are constantly interrupting or making the situation all about yourself when someone is talking to you. After all, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason, right?

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