When talking with others, we often wonder whether they are really paying attention to what we say. People don’t always do what we asked them which brings up the question how you can make them pay attention for even a minute. Researchers have confirmed that listening is an important social skill. However, we don’t actually learn it neither at home nor at school. The researchers also believe that listening skills can be thought through different stages that can be implemented in the classroom lessons. However, when we are talking about everyday life, these 8 tips are useful to figure out whether someone is listening to you or not.
1. They decide the discussion topic
People who have their own agenda usually direct the flow of the conversation making sure they will talk about the things they want. According to Michael Nichols, author of The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning To Listen Can Improve Relationships, people who have agenda only listen to us with the intention of making themselves right and others wrong.
2. They interrupt your speaking flow
If people are paying attention, they will be patient for a minute or two before jumping in the middle of your sentence. But if someone constantly interrupts you, they are not paying attention to what you are saying.
3. Ask them a question about something you just said
People who pay attention will remember lots of details from the things you said. Ask the person a questions such as “What do you think about what I said?” to find out how focused they are on your conversation. If they were not paying attention they will give a vague answer such as “Sounds good” or a similar one that is not even relevant to what you have previously talked about.
4. You never feel positive after a conversation with them
Talking with someone who is not listening makes us feel unloved. If walking away after a conversation makes you feel burdened, you were probably wasting your time with a bad listener.
5. They overreact with defensive emotions
Another thing said by Michael Nichols, author of The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning To Listen Can Improve Relationships, is that we sometimes only hear what we want to and sometimes the truth is the opposite. For example, two partners in an antagonistic relationship with a pattern of arguing, the guilty one is hearing only the negative words the other person says. If your partner is extremely upset about something you just said, they might not be listening. It might be because of something that happened earlier that has nothing to do with you, and they use the negative emotions as a filter for only hearing the bad things you say.
6. They seem bored
It is easy to pick up other people’s emotions, and boredom is one of the easiest to notice. If someone is bored by you they will rest their chin in the palm of their hand or their eyes may start to look tired because they are probably drifting away with their thoughts.
7. Distractions are everywhere
A person who is not listening is very likely to interrupt the conversation for sending a mail or making a call. If this person is unable to prevent those distractions from interrupting your conversation, you can politely ask them to give you full 5 minutes of their time.
8. They don’t ask questions about the things you said
If you have talked about a wonderful book and described most of it but you never mentioned the title, and if the other person did not ask any question about the title or related to it, they are very likely not listening to anything you are saying.