7 Ways to Become Someone With Whom People Want to Discuss Life

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Are you a caring listener? Are you someone with whom people are willing to discuss life? Here are 7 tips that will help your conversations thrive. #Friendship #talkwithfriends #socialmedia #BibleStudy #Blessings

Do you ever feel like we’re living at a time when people are talking past each other rather than with each other?

I like to think that I’m the kind of person with whom people want to discuss life for hours . . . that I’m an excellent listener who’s emotionally supportive offering just the right balance of encouragement and wise advice.

But I’m pretty sure that’s not always the case.

Every day you and I leave little pieces of ourselves behind through the conversations we have with family, friends, coworkers, and yes, even strangers.

And I want the pieces I leave behind to be blessings that glorify God.

The truth is…

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Carl W. Buehner

So, I went to God’s Word and found…

7 Ways to Be Someone with
whom People will Discuss Life

1. ASK QUESTIONS

Ask open-ended non-prying questions.

I want to know about people … their struggles, opinions, beliefs, etc. I think that’s how we learn about each other and grow ourselves. Be an active attentive listener and care about people’s beliefs and opinions.

Paul wrote:

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Philippians 2:4

“When you really listen to another person from their point of view and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.”

2. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK & LISTEN WITHOUT INTERRUPTING

“Recent research has indicated that the average individual listens for only seventeen seconds before interrupting and interjecting his own ideas.” ~ Gary Chapman

Whew, no wonder we’re having trouble listening and loving each other well. Maybe it’s time for us to start caring more about people than we care about being right.

James wrote:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. 

James 1:19 (CSB)

And Solomon wrote:

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

Proverbs 18:13
Are you a caring listener? Are you someone with whom people are willing to discuss life? Here are 7 tips that will help your conversations thrive. #Friendship #talkwithfriends #socialmedia #BibleStudy #Blessings

3. BE WILLING TO TELL YOUR STORY

We don’t have to tell every little dirty detail of our lives but we bless and encourage each other when we’re willing to honestly share the ways we’ve experienced God at work in us and around us. And we might end up finding out that we have more in common with each other than we thought.

And God is glorified when we proclaim what He has done.

Jesus told a man He delivered from demons:

“Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:39

4. BE AWARE OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE AND TONE

Turn your body toward the person, put your phone down, and make eye contact. Keep your arms open and your posture positive. Avoid negative body language—like crossed arms and eye rolls. And when you speak, agree enthusiastically and disagree calmly and quietly.

Our body language and the tone of our voice reveal more than we think. It’s been said that…

10% of conflict is due to a difference of opinions. 90% is due to the wrong tone of voice.

Unknown

Solomon wrote:

The heart of the wise has power over his mouth and adds learning to his lips.

Proverbs 16:23

5. APOLOGIZE WHEN NECESSARY

I make conversation mistakes often. I don’t listen the way I should, I’m easily distracted, and I interrupt and speak way too quickly. I’ve learned that saying “I’m sorry, please forgive me,” can turn a conversation around when it’s heading off the rails.

James also wrote:

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 

James 5:16

6. BE YOUR-Beautiful-SELF

God created you and me for this time and place. He created us to be in relationships and He knows every person that we will meet along the path He has prepared for us. So remember . . . the Lord created each of us with the important qualities He wants us to use to bless one another.

Be your best but be yourself. Relax and have a little fun. It will bless you, too!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10

7. IN THE END – ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE

So much of what is going on in our world could be improved if we communicated with patience, gentleness, kindness, and compassion.

That sounds downright Biblical…

The Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. 

Galatians 5:22–23a (NCV)
Are you a caring listener? Are you someone with whom people are willing to discuss life? Here are 7 tips that will help your conversations thrive. #Friendship #talkwithfriends #socialmedia #BibleStudy #Blessings

A Prayer to Become Someone
with whom People will Discuss Life

Father, thank you for creating us to help and encourage one another. I have been blessed countless times by those You have sent to walk along side me with wisdom and godly counsel.

We live at a time when there is so much divisiveness in our country and even in our churches. It often feels like people are struggling to truly listen to one another. So often we see criticism instead of compassion and conversation. Jesus told us to “love each other just as [He] has loved us.” (John 13:34)

Loving like Jesus is being helpful, caring, forgiving, and yes . . . listening.

Peter wrote that we should be ready to share our faith with “gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)

When we are good listeners who speak with gentleness and respect, we become people with whom people want to talk about faith and discuss life. Please forgive us and help us. Fill us with Your Spirit and make us more like Jesus. In whose name, I pray. Amen.

Are you a caring listener? Are you someone with whom people are willing to discuss life? Here are 7 tips that will help your conversations thrive. #Friendship #talkwithfriends #socialmedia #BibleStudy #Blessings

It’s not uncommon for me to receive challenging comments on social media.

My prayer is to pause for a bit so I can reply gently and respectfully. I don’t know that anyone has changed their beliefs based on our interaction but I do know that if I responded with snark and sarcasm they may not even consider what I have to say.

So, let’s remember that we are all sinners who have said and done things we shouldn’t. We are all people who need love and forgiveness. We all need Jesus. And that is our mission, to lovingly tell the world about the One who loves them so much that He gave His life for them.

God has given us everything we need to discuss life and share God’s grace, mercy, and love.

May God bless you and strengthen your relationships through wonderful conversations.

Thank you so much for joining me today.

And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.

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18 Comments

  1. Thank you for that, in this day and age of uncertainty and the division within our lives I have gotten to the point where I realized I don’t want to be around people who are of a different political persuasion than I am because I find them mean spirited and frightening to me. Your article made me realize that’s Not what God wants, we are to be In the World But Not part of the world, if I’m not talking to people I Can’t bring the Light of the world to them!! That’s what Satan would want, for me not to Share Jesus with people!!!

    1. Thank you, Marilyn. Asking God to bless and encourage you as you share His love.

  2. Kathy Francescon says:

    I think the lack of face to face speaking and listening, is a large part of why the threads of so many lives are unraveling. Technology in hand has replaced our hugs, our honest and sincere conversations and especially our understanding ear…I think so much of the anger stems from the loneliness and isolation that technology brought to all of us on one level or another.
    I remember a time, when and where ever you talked to anyone, an invitation to church was always part of the conversation. Thank you, Deb, for the reminder that speaking and listening are more important now that ever before.
    If no one is speaking, how can anyone ever learn to listen?
    Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.

    1. I hear you, Kathy! Expressions and body language add so much to the conversation. I think that’s one of the things that has made harsh comments easier – we lash out in anger without seeing the reality of how our words hit hearts and minds. Praying for better connections and kinder conversations. Blessings, my friend!

  3. Such sage advice, Deb! I know I could be a better listener, and I’ll ask for God’s help in that arena.
    Blessings!

    1. Thanks, dear friend! I truly appreciate your kind encouragement! Blessings and hugs!

  4. Another great post Deb.
    I am in the middle of reading this amazing book:
    In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? by Charles M. Sheldon

  5. This is such an important topic. We are losing our ability to communicate with each other effectively. Everyone is in such a rush to get their point across that we don’t take the time to hear each other out. Thank you for addressing this.

    1. Kathy Francescon says:

      Amen! Well said!

    2. I agree, Felicia. I truly believe we would find many more things to agree on if we just listened with kindness and compassion. Blessings!

  6. This is so good Deb! I love how Solomon used the words spouting off in Prov 13:18 lol. That’s exactly what I do when I don’t listen and wait for the other person to talk. I love your writing always, be blessed sweet sister … Donna 🙏💕

    1. Thanks, Donna! I’m guilty of “spouting off” too. My challenge is waiting for the other person to finish their whole thought. I’m always too quick to engage. Rev says I’m just an active listener. LOL I sure do appreciate your kind encouragement. God bless you!

  7. I know I have short comings with interrupting others while they speak. Though I made conscious effort to correct it and praying to the Lord to put a zipper on my tounge. Learned the hardway – as most of the time – the results of my quick mouth. Words I couldn’t take back, neither on paper or in person, even though I didn’t mean it the way it sounded.
    It’s shocking – especially on social media – the ease people attack each other, calling each other the most vile names, without even actually knowing the person. It happened to me on countless occasions, but by the grace of the Lord, instead of hitting back, I try to defuse the comment, and if at all possible than turn it around for the glory of Jesus. My general prayer is that they may at least think…..that it may touch their heart and force them to reflect. These maybe only wishful thinking but God is in the miracle business ….only He knows. Yes, we all sometimes too quick to voice our opinions, thoughts, points, defend our position at all cost…..and while occasionally it’s necessary, most of the time just need an open heart, open mind and a closed mouth.
    I pray for a warm, listening heart and mind for all of us. Blessings my friend

    1. I love that, Gaby. An open heart, an open mind, and a closed mouth. A good thing for all of us to remember. Thanks much! God bless you!

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