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One of the greatest skills that can enable you to build your interpersonal relationships is listening. Although it sounds simple enough, in practice, people often fail to listen when they need to the most.

Listening is a key life skill that can also enable you to learn and grow as a person. This happens when you actively listen to and absorb valuable advice you get from the people in your life.

However, people often tend to enjoy speaking more than listening. Knowing when to listen and how to listen can enable you to find success in various situations.

To help you become a better listener, here are six steps to follow.

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Listener

Have you ever experienced moments in your life where you felt that all you really needed was for someone to hear you out?

A listener is someone who is there to partake in someone else’s journey, for the duration of the dialogue.

This doesn’t mean that they never interject or offer their opinion. Instead, it means that their main focus through the conversation is to enable the other person to communicate what’s on their mind freely and openly.

The ability to freely talk about problems, issues, and difficulties can help people alleviate stress, as well as face the problems in their life.

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1. A Good Listener Is a Good Friend

If you really want to get to know someone, then you need to listen to what they have to say about themselves. Sometimes they may say positive things, and at other times, negative.

But when you help them work through their problems and process their feelings, you open the door to building trust. Listening to the issues that they are dealing with and proving a shoulder to lean on helps form solid relationships as well.

After all, no one wants to talk about their problems and be vulnerable with people they don’t feel comfortable with or people they don’t trust.

2. A Good Listener Is Impartial

Everyone has a few skeletons in their closet, and chances are, you’re bound to hear about a few of them. When someone is telling you their secrets, try to be impartial. Instead of interjecting to give your opinion, allow them to finish what they have to say.

Being non-judgmental is also necessary if you want to be a good listener. If people feel as if you’re judging them, then they’ll be less likely to want to open up to you.

Your priority as a listener should be to help them feel comfortable enough to let their guard down. Remember that everyone leads different lives and has their own way of dealing with stressful situations.

3. A Good Listener Is Curious

A good listener should also know how to ask open questions during the conversation and follow-up questions after they finish their thought or story.

This is especially necessary if you feel as if the conversation is straying and you want to bring it back on topic. Asking the right questions at the right time can also help you to learn more about the other person.

Often, asking people questions about themselves is an easy way to build friendships. This is because people tend to enjoy talking about themselves. If they don’t, asking the right questions can help them feel more comfortable talking about themselves.

By actively showing that you are curious about them and their life, you welcome strong relationships into your life.

4. A Good Listener Doesn’t Interrupt

If you want to practice being a good listener, avoid interrupting when a person is speaking. This can affect the flow of the conversation. The person you are speaking to may lose track of what they were saying, thereby derailing the conversation.

If someone is trying to tell you something private about themselves, or are divulging information they are uncomfortable sharing normally, don’t interrupt.

If you interrupt the person in this situation, then you risk losing out on the rest of the conversation. This can happen if the person doesn’t want to talk about that topic anymore, or if they forget what they were saying.

Interrupting someone when they are talking can also be seen as a sign that you’re not interested in what they have to say.

5. A Good Listener Gives Support

As you listen to what the people you care about have to tell you, you also offer support at the same time.

This support isn’t material or financial in any way, but rather the emotional support they get from having someone who cares about them understand their situation.

Remember that people are not always looking for someone to solve their problems. Just having someone who can hear you out can go a long way towards improving someone’s day.

6. A Good Listener Offers Advice

Listeners can offer advice, provided that the advice is sought after. If you think you have knowledge that can help the person you are speaking to improve their situation, ask them if they want your advice.

It’s often that people just want to vent and air out their emotions. Offering advice may only overwhelm them, especially if it’s a solution they don’t like.

But wait to offer your advice until they have finished what they have to say. When you do this, the other person feels seen and heard, otherwise it can make them feel you are being dismissive.


Being a good listener is a gift that not many people have. But it’s one that you can teach yourself. When you become a better listener, the people in your life benefit from it. They will be able to count on you to help them through problems of all sizes.

At Quotacy, we understand the significance of being there for your loved ones, especially when they need it the most. This is why life insurance is so important.

Life insurance gives them the support they need so they can focus on recovering emotionally and not financially.

If you’re ready to secure your family’s future, start with a free life insurance quote today.

Not sure how much life insurance you need? Check out our free life insurance needs calculator.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Greg Lewerer

Director of Creative Strategy

Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.