Whenever you are listening to other, it's very important you show that you are listening

If you are doing a terrible job of listening, here are some things you may hear from your frustrated partner or closed ones

"I feel like you are not even listening to me"
"Do you even understand what I said??"

If you hear or are afraid to hear any thing close to those messages above, then you are in the right place

What you need is to learn how to summarize what others have said!

Here's an example conversation of a failed listening session

Tim: "I heard that you been out of it lately. How are you feeling?"
Hyori: "Thanks for caring Tim. I just got tired of chasing after love."
Tim: "Tell me more"
Hyori: "Lately I noticed I only attract the love that I deserve. I been attracting a lot of bad quality men. So if I want better partner, I have to better myself"
Tim: "So you just want to be loved"
Hyori: "That's not quite what I meant"
Tim: "I thought you talked a lot of about love so this must be it"
Hyori: "... Never mind"

Problem

The problem here is that you may be listening, but you are not understand what they are saying

It's nice to know that someone is there to listen to you

What good does it do if you feel like they did not even get what you said

You have to spend extra time and effort to re-explain how you feel once again in another way

The greater the extra time and effort to re-explain, the more it discourages you from sharing

Tim did a great job starting a listening session with Hyori, but he failed to understand what has been saying

Hyori never talked about wanting to be loved

While that is true, Hyori was talking more about her lesson in love and how she must improve herself to find a better man in her life

Because Tim failed to summarize what Hyori said, she felt misunderstood and got discouraged from sharing more of herself any further

Solution

To continue the listening session and increase trust for listenee to share further, you have to learn how to summarize better

There is no specific technique on how to summarize other than paying close attention

The more you pay close attention, the easier it is to understand others

So give listenees your undivided attention!

Here are a few things to be mindful of:

  1. You cannot assume anything, you can only summarize what has been said.
  2. Use listenees' words whenever you can to further show that you have been listening
  3. Consecutive failed attempts to summarize listenee will discourage listenees from sharing further. Thus breaking the trust from wanting to share next time

How conversation should have went:

Let's go back to the failed conversation and fix it

Tim: "I heard that you been out of it lately. How are you feeling?"
Hyori: "Thanks for caring Tim. I just got tired of chasing after love."
Tim: "Tell me more"
Hyori: "Lately I noticed I only attract the love that I deserve. I been attracting a lot of bad quality men. So if I want better partner, I have to better myself"
Tim: "You learned that you have to improve yourself so you can have a better man in your life"
Hyori: "Yes! That's exactly it. Guess I have to be a bit more patient and hope for a better man to come my way"

Tim correctly summarized what Hyori said and she agreed with you.

This invited her to share more thoughts and feelings

At this point Tim is able can end the conversation with "You will"

If he wants to continue the conversation further, he can ask the why question "Why do you hope for a better man to come your way?"

Final remark

Once again, human's greatest desire is to be understood.

By summarizing what others have said correctly, you satisfy their greatest desire

They will want to share more with you because they felt understood

On the other hand, if you failed to summarize correctly, you failed to understand them, they will be discouraged to share more

Pay close attention and listen to others carefully

It increases your odds of getting it right