How To Become A Good Listener When You Have Anxiety

We all know some people are better listeners than others. Excellent listeners give their full attention to whoever is talking. Those who are not good listeners can’t stop thinking about themselves long enough to hear what others have to say. Most of us fall somewhere in-between.

People with anxiety may not listen well if their focus and worry are on what to say next. This usually leads to mind-freeze or lobe-lock, and conversations typically go downhill from there.

If you practice listening attentively--not thinking, only listening--conversation is much easier. It leaves you free to have spontaneous reactions to what is being said, which is a necessary ingredient of good discussions.

Although most of us know when we are with a good listener, we may never think about what qualities are involved in listening well--until now.

Signs of Listening Intelligence

Eyes: Totally Focused On You
When talking to a good listener, you know that you’ve engaged their attention. The eyes reveal they are focused on you. They will not get glazed over look of someone who’s deciding what to eat for lunch or appear distracted as a person who is listening to another conversation while in one.

Genuine: When Self Is Temporarily Forgotten
Because a good listener is free to react naturally to what is said, they come across as being genuine. Attentive listening requires a person to forget themselves while conversing, and people are more genuine when the self is temporarily forgotten.

Remarks: Make Intuitive Comments
Many excellent listeners come up with frequent intuitive remarks or keen observations. Because their attention is on your words, and they are not thinking about what to say next, their mind is quiet. A quiet mind can be observant of body language, facial expressions, the feeling behind words, and is ready to receive any pearls of wisdom that visit their gray matter.

Know Oneself: Thoughts, Feelings, Instincts
Good listeners often know themselves well because they listen not only to others, but also to their own thoughts, feelings, and instincts.

After enjoying someone’s rapt attention, you walk away feeling appreciated, that what you think and feel matters. Giving attention to someone is a gift everyone likes receiving.

Listening skills can be improved, and there are payoffs for making the effort. Being attentive works magic with relationships, school grades, and employee performance reviews.

If your social anxiety is high, you may need to practice listening and responding with a counselor or in a group setting, where you can learn to trust your spontaneous thoughts and emotions.

Photo: Pixabay

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