How to Be a Better Listener & Bless Your Relationships

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How would you like to become a better listener? In a world full of distractions, I thought it might be helpful for us to have a list of ways we can bless our relationships through listening.

How often do you feel like your words are falling on deaf ears? How would you like to be a better listener?

I learned a long time ago if I want to pay attention to the people I’m with I need to turn away from all competing distracters.

I don’t know if I have ADD or I’m just easily distracted, but it’s hard for me to sit in a crowded room without my eyes darting around like I’m watching bumble bees in a garden.

I love people-watching; so, one of the ways I used to show Rev intentional love was by choosing to keep activity behind me. I always sit near the front in church, too.

It’s hard to look like you’re listening when your eyes wander around the room. Visually focusing is an important part of being a better listener.

And that’s just one of the things we can do. In a world full of distractions, I thought it might be helpful for us to have a list of ways we can bless our relationships through better listening.

How would you like to become a better listener? In a world full of distractions, I thought it might be helpful for us to have a list of ways we can bless our relationships through listening.

8 Ways You Can Be a Better Listener

1. Eliminate Distractions and Pay Attention – If this is a challenge for you like it is for me … be intentional. Put down your phone and make eye contact.

I love this quote…

“A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.” ~Steve Maraboli

2. Watch Your Body Language – Sit facing each other, uncross your arms, lean in . . . don’t just be there. Be interested and act like it.

“Get in touch with the way the other person feels. Feelings are 55% body language, 38% tone, and 7% words.” –Unknown

3. Stay Open-minded – It’s easy to go into a conversation with predetermined ideas. If the issue isn’t eternally important, keep an open mind. You might learn something new.

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

Proverbs 18:13

4. Offer Care and Compassion – Make it a goal to listen to understand. Try to look at things from the other person’s perspective. Care more about the person than about making a point or winning an argument.  

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Luke 6:36

5. Don’t Interrupt – I struggle with this one. I always have something to say but the truth is … it’s rude. If we want to be good listeners we need to actually listen.

“Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships.” ~Steve Shallenberger

6. Respect and Understand Feelings – Feelings are personal. They aren’t right or wrong. You can be a better listener and help someone most by respecting their feelings and understanding their heart.

“Respect people’s feelings! Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it could mean everything to them.” ~Unknown

7. It’s Okay to Sit in Silence – We are so accustomed to noise that it’s hard to wait when someone pauses to think or breathe. Give them time to collect their thoughts and choose their words.

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~Cicero

8.🌟 Keep it Private 🌟- Yes, I’m adding stars to this one! This may be the best way to be a trusted listener and bless your relationships. Never share anything someone has told you unless they have specifically given permission. 

A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

Proverbs 11:13

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Bless Our Relationships
By Being a Better Listener

Father God, Your Word promises that You graciously and mercifully listen to the cries of our hearts. You invite us to pray without ceasing promising to hear and respond in love.

You also created us to live in community encouraging us to model Your love by listening to one another. I’m sorry, Lord. I’m so easily distracted. I want to give my full attention to every conversation I have with You, friends, and loved ones. But things like thoughts, technology, and entertainment get in the way. Please forgive me.

By the power of Your Spirit, please help me intentionally pay attention to the people around me. Make me a representative of Your love … someone who pays attention with an open heart and mind. Please make me kind and help me demonstrate Your compassion so that I might be caring and respectful.

By Your grace, please bless my relationships with Your love and bless me with all I need to be a better listener. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

How would you like to become a better listener? In a world full of distractions, I thought it might be helpful for us to have a list of ways we can bless our relationships through listening.

Here are a couple of bonus listening tips that I believe will help us become better listeners and bless our relationships.

  • Pray Before, During, and After Your Time Spent with Friends and Loved Ones – Ask God to help you be a good listener. Ask Him for wisdom during the conversation. Ask Him to bless and help your friend and your friendship.
  • Follow up – Check in after a few days to see how your friend or loved one is doing. Continue to show compassion. Continue to listen.

Finally, one more truth-filled quote…

“People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.” ~Unknown

What’s your favorite advice for becoming a better listener?

May the Lord bless you and bless your relationships.

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  1. Martha Orlando says:

    You have described beautifully here, Deb, the blessings of active listening. It seems distractions try to rule the day, but we can’t allow these if we truly want to pay attention to someone and deepen our understanding of them. I hope and pray that God will work in all our hearts to make us better listeners.

    1. Thanks so much, Martha! I am always blessed by your kind encouragement! Blessings and hugs, my friend!

  2. This is wonderful advice and a great topic. Learning to be a better listener is something that I am trying to be. It is a daily challenge to me. I also have a short attention span. One thing that has helped me a lot is that someone very close to me never lets me finish a sentence without jumping in and cutting me off. This has helped me when I am listening to others. I know how it makes me feel when I can’t finish what I am saying. It is important to let a person finish what they are saying. They feel like you don’t think what they have to say is important if you jump in and cut them off. Believe me, I know firsthand about this. I love this post and the suggestions you have stated are a good reminder to me. People want to be heard and they want to feel like what they feel and say matters.
    Great post Deb!! I hope that you have a wonderful and safe week.

    1. Thank you, Sue! I can’t help but wonder how much of a difference it could make if we all chose to really listen to one another. Thanks for the interrupting reminder, too. I know I can be guilty of that one. I hope you’re having a wonderful day! Blessings and hugs!

  3. Ana Cordova says:

    This was awesome it really touched home for me. I like to listen to others but at times get distracted with what they are saying so I tone them out. I am guilty of interrupting at times when someone is speaking. I need to ask God to help me to be a good listener and have consideration and empathy towards others when they are speaking. Thank you Deb I really need this. Have a lovely day and week!

    1. I’m glad it helped you, Ana. I needed the reminder myself. God’s blessings!

  4. Wonderful words of encouragement!! Thank you for the reminder of all the things my God does for me.

    1. I’m so glad it blessed you, Holley! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. God bless you!

  5. Stacey Pardoe says:

    There is so much wisdom here, Deb! I do a lot of listening and read through this for some wisdom. I appreciate the reminder to watch body language. So much communication is nonverbal and paying attention to this is powerful. Thank you for this!

    1. Thanks much, Stacey! I needed those reminders myself. I’m so glad they blessed you, too! Hugs!