Most people want to feel valued and understood, especially by their friends. Whilst I haven’t always agreed with my friends opinions, I have always tried to understand their perspective. When we listen intently to our friends and seek to understand them on a deeper level, both intellectually in terms of their rational and emotionally, we develop greater intimacy with them and strengthen trust. Below are just some of the ways you can show your friends you are listening intently, thereby enhancing your friendship.
- Use positive body language: Tilting your head to the side, mirroring their body language and pointing your feet in their direction all indicate an interest in what is being said and that you are actively listening.
- Reaffirm: Repeating what your friend has said back to them in agreement shows you are listening and understand their perspective. Asking questions and empathizing by saying statements like ‘that must have been really exciting’ show you are trying place yourself in their position and emotionally relating to their experience.
- The memory game: Write down any and all dates that are significant, like when a friend has an important meeting at work, is going on vacation or is seeing a musical they are excited about. Then follow up to see how it went.
When have you felt listened to by a friend? How did it make you feel? Do you have any tips of your own for actively listening? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.