wikiHow to Listen More Than You Talk

Two Methods:Listening HelpListening More Than You Talk

If you are having trouble making or keeping relationships, maybe it is because you are not a good listener. Listening to others empowers them and causes them to rely on you when they need a person to talk to. Also, when you let them do more of the talking it keeps you as more of a mystery to them to want to figure out!

Listening Help

Listening Tips

Listening More Than You Talk

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    First learn how to ask as many open ended questions as possible. Open ended questions can not be answered with a yes or no.
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    Who, what, when, where, why, and how are key words to remember to use.
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    Do not pretend to be interested in a person if you are not. You will not end up wanting to genuinely hear what they have to say.
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    Start with basics questions and work your way into deeper questions. Example: Start by asking what they did that day, or how they liked a certain person, place, or thing. Use the answer they gave and respond by acknowledging what they said briefly and then ask a follow up question. Example: Oh that's so great that you enjoyed the movie you saw, what was your favorite part? or Oh, you went to that restaurant, what did you order? How did you like your dish? Would you recommend the restaurant to others?Remember, don't ask too many questions, or you might seem fake or even stalker-like.
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    Remember that when meeting someone new stay on neutral subjects until you get to know them more intimately.
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    When you feel like you want to say something keep it brief and do not feel like everything you have to say needs to be said in this one conversation. Remember the key is to let them do most of the talking.
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    Make sure you are making eye contact and showing them non-verbal gestures that keeps them engaged. If a person feels like you are distracted they may cut their dialog short.
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    If the person starts to turn the conversation around and ask you questions but you really just want them to be the one talking answer the questions briefly and then reiterate that you really want to know what they think, or how they feel.
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    Tell the person at the end of the conversation how much you enjoyed what they had to say. This gives them positive reinforcement to want to share with you in the future.


  • Listen to other people's conversations to get tips on good questions to ask.
  • Make sure if you like to talk you have someone to get your feelings and thoughts out to so you are not always the listener.
  • Stay informed on recent news and events going on around the world so you have a good variety of topics to ask people questions about.
  • After you have a great conversation with someone replay it in your head so you can remember what you asked and how you responded that made them open up so much to you.
  • Practice with a close friend or relative with or without telling them what you are doing.


  • You might find that someone will start to rely on you as their therapist and comes to you with all of their problems and questions. If this happens you may have to slowly wean your way off of them.
  • You might not know how to end the conversation once it gets started and the other person goes into a much more lengthy and detailed story. In this case it is okay to cut them off and then quickly say that you really don't want to have to cut them off and really care about what they are saying but have to go do whatever it is you have to do and that the two of you can continue this later.
  • If it's a new friend; don't ask personal questions, and don't expect personal answers.
  • A person might expose some very personal information with you when you just wanted to make small talk. In this case you can acknowledge briefly what they told you, so you are not rude, and then change the subject quickly.

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