Have you had difficulty making new friends? One of the skills you may need to work on is being a better listener. In active listening, you repeat what has been stated by rephrasing the statement back to the speaker. I've always been irritated by that concept because most people do not do a very good job at it. What I mean by that is for example, when someone says to you, "What I hear you say is …". I'm thinking, "yeah, that's what I just said". It personally makes me feel stupid.

Rather, what I'm referring to in listening is listening what the other person's likes and dislikes are, hearing about their family or pets. You can learn a lot about a person in just listening to what they are talking about. You can tell if they are confident, insecure or angry.

Because I enjoy being chatty, in the past I've talked to much to the wrong people. Not everyone enjoys conversation. I've worked on that and now try to get a feel to see if the other person is receptive. My biggest indicator is in people who smile.

The next time you are engaged in conversation with someone, first listen, then ask questions from the topics that talked of. If they are happy about an event, congratulate them. If they seem discouraged, offer a word of encouragement. If they are angry, be empathetic but choose another time to engage in much conversation. It can be difficult to communicate with someone who is angry. They may need some time to cool down.

When you remember something specific that someone said, do a kind gesture next time you see them that shows you were listening. If they mentioned a favorite food, you could bring them food from their favorite place. If they had a pet, you could bring a treat or a toy. If they have small children, you could bring an inexpensive gift such as bubbles or chalk. If they were going through a difficult time, flowers may be appropriate. People will take notice that you listened and remembered what they said.

When I was a parole / probation agent, my clients said they appreciated that I listened to them. They said they did not mind reporting to me because coming to see me was like a free therapy session. They appreciated that I did not judge them. Before I asked about their compliance with conditions, first I asked how they were doing. That helped me to know how to best help them.

I've learned a lot over the past several years and am better now in dealing with interpersonal relationships. The good news in this area is that there is hope. This is an easy situation to turn around. Once you begin to listen, you will find ways to build relationships with others and starting making new friends.

Source by Laura M Schroeder

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