Active listening skills, how to improve
Active listening skills are important for a sugar baby. These skills are not only life skills but are useful in maintaining a SD relationship. Active listening is not just about hearing the words but it is about understanding the complete message. To become an active listener, practice makes perfect. We broke it down into 5 active listening skills that should be used. Paying attention, Show that you are listening, provide feedback, defer judgment and responding appropriately.
Paying attention may be obvious but actually doing it is hard. Especially for people with ADHD like myself. Too often I find myself drifting off into my head and thinking of things that are not even important. I used these tricks to stay focus on the speaker
- Maintain social eye contact, meaning don’t stare to the point where they become uncomfortable.
- Avoid at all costs the environment, don’t let side conversations pull you out of focus.
- Don’t prepare for a rebuttal, the speaker is the focus not trying to prove them wrong
- Read the body language, this I had read articles and watch YouTube videos to full understand what they mean
Show you are listening
Showing that you are listening, this all about using body language and gestures to give subtle cues that you are listening. We all give them without knowing we are doing it but it is still important to master them.
- Nod occasionally
- Facial expressions such as smiling appropriately
- Have an open posture that invites a person to want to engage more. Meaning face them speaker with your chest and avoid crossing your arms.
- Encourage the user to continue with small words like “yes” and “Uh huh”
Provide feedback, feedback gives the speaker verbal cues that you are not listening but you are engaged
- Use phrases like “Sounds like you are saying…” or “What I’m hearing is…” paraphrasing what they are saying they can hear what the way they are saying it and can reflect on their words.
- Ask questions to clarify, these questions gives the speaker direct insight on what they are saying and how an expert can explain things in a way for the normal person.
- Summarize the speaker is saying they can clarify if you misheard what they are saying.
Defer judgment, judgement is important to help grow a person but there is a right time for everything.
- Allow the speaker to finish as point before responding to what they are saying.
- Don’t give counter arguments, again there is a time and place for that and during an intimate conversation may not be the time.
Respond appropriately, giving the right response to the right cue. This can be impossible if zoning out happens so find a point and have a response ready is important. Even if it is as simple as a yes or no.
- Be honest and open with response, people that have lived on this planet for awhile tend to have a good bullshit detector.
- Give your opinions respectfully. People like people sheepdogs not sheep. Having opinions are good and sharing them respectfully builds trust.
- Treating people the way you want to be treated or the golden rule. This has been taught to us since we were kids and is the best advice you give anyone.