How Listening to Others Can Make You a Better Person

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I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
Ernest Hemingway

What if I tell you that listening is much more important than speaking?

Most people often forget that we have one mouth and two ears, which means we should listen twice as much as we speak. That way we will be able to connect with others on a spiritual level, not being driven by our egoistic instincts which make us speak without listening.

The world would be a better place if people listened to each other more. Communication would be real, everyone would say what they want and won’t keep it in their head, conflicts will lessen and people will refind their compassion.

Listening is an art, a path to other people’s heart, an effort requiring patience, sometimes a battle with yourself, and a skill you need to learn in order to evolve as a person and unleash your potential.

How does listening help us and the ones we communicate with?

1. You help those you listen to.

People yearn to be heard. They have so much going on in their life and head, that everyone who is willing to just sit and listen to them is like their savior.

So why don’t you help someone today by listening to what they have to say? Make them feel comfortable and let them speak.

You may be surprised what a positive effect on you this may have.

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2. You learn.

There are many ways to increase your knowledge – by reading, doing, watching, being taught, failing, etc. – and listening is one of the best and easiest.

Ask questions, engage in conversations, listen to public speakers and lectors, hear what your friends and parents tell you, take advice and learn whenever you can. Just imagine how instructive a story from an experienced person can be.

Some time ago, while I was working at a sea resort  for the summer, I had the chance to meet foreigners from all over the world. There were many Jewish people as well. Of course they were there on a holiday so nobody from the hotel’s staff and local shops tried to get to know them. But I was very interested in their culture and wanted to learn all about it from Israelis themselves. And from one word to another, I became friends with most of them. They are a wonderful nation and I was glad I asked and listened carefully to what they said. It turned out that they were rarely given much attention and were very happy to get it from me, a young girl eager to learn about their country. Some told me about the history of Israel, others talked about wars – an inevitable part of their life. I had an interesting 2-3 hour conversation with two women, goldsmiths, that had been traveling all their life and been almost everywhere. Another girl had just been in the army and had many moving stories to tell me. This is how I learned so much about the people, lifestyle and history of a certain country together with other very interesting facts and stories and made friends by just listening.

3. You develop patience.

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Mastering patience helps you control your mind. It is a highly respectable virtue that true leaders have developed. It is that thing without which you simply can’t handle what life brings you.

Everyone has something to say and wants to do it now without listening to the story someone is telling us. But real strength, self-control and will are measured by the forbearance from doing it. By resisting the urge to talk, humbly listening and responding adequately to the other person, we build patience and character.

4. You show compassion.

Compassion is a rare phenomenon nowadays but I believe that everyone can manifest it by realizing that it lies deep inside us. And by being ready to show it to every creature, to show respect and love and try to help however we can, we also help ourselves.

Becoming compassionate and practicing it while listening is a great way to get in touch with your soul, to become a better person.

Only this way are we able to be wise in our actions, feel what others think, and start giving. Don’t be afraid to develop that quality and never doubt that it will take you to a higher level of living, to success in its pure form.

5. You understand.

Somewhere in the process of listening a magical thing happens – you start understanding. Without asking questions, you suddenly find answers concerning yourself, life, love, the other person and many other sacred things.

Listen as much as you can, do it for everyone who has something to tell you.

Then, among their stories try to find the moral, the lessons that you wouldn’t have had the chance to learn otherwise. And when you do, thank that person, send him your love, and help him in return.

Because even if you don’t realize it now, he has left a mark in your life.

So during the next small talk you have, try to stop thinking, eliminate shyness and all the barriers between you, close your mouth and just listen. Listen with all your mind and soul, understand the body language, try to hear what else he wants to say but doesn’t yet have the courage to and let him know that you are trustworthy.

How important is listening to you? How else can it make you a better person?

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