Hello? Is anyone listening? Did you ever sit there on a date and wonder if the other person was actually listening to what you’re saying? I know I have. On the other hand, my eyes have glazed over more than once too. I have a very short attention span … ooh shiny object … wait, sorry, I’m back. What was I saying? Oh ya, listening and dating. So how do you listen more effectively when you’re on a date … even, or especially, when the other person is boring? I’m here to tell you, and, it’s easier than you think! Stay tuned … I mean listen carefully because I’m going to tell you how to float your date’s boat …
How Listening and Dating Go Hand In Hand
We all want to feel like what we say is being heard by the person sitting across from us on a date. We want them to be engaging and interactive. It makes us feel like what we say matters, like we matter. So how can we create this kind of environment? We can make listening and dating go hand in hand by engaging in Active Listening. What is Active Listening? Active Listeners listen mentally, verbally and nonverbally to the speaker. It’s an effective way of listening because it demonstrates that you were actually listening and interested in what they had to say. It also keeps the conversation flowing more naturally, it’s not one-sided.
Good listeners will always have good eye contact, uncrossed arms and legs, will nod in the appropriate times, they will ask questions and paraphrase what the speaker is saying AND they never cut in and interrupt when someone is speaking (I’m guilty of that!).
How To Be An Active Listener
Active listening has two parts – paraphrasing and asking questions:
- Put Aside Distracting Thoughts: Make sure to fully be present in the conversation. Don’t try and think of a response or focus on your own agenda while the other person is talking.
- Pay Attention to Body Language: They need to see that you’re listening so nod, smile, lean forward, show that you’re open. Notice if they’re nervous or fidgety or open as well it will help you determine where they’re at.
- Paraphrase: Repeat what they said in their own words for accuracy and to summarize key points. You can say something like: “So you’re saying that …”, “If I understand correctly then you think …” or “You seem to be passionate about …”.
- Ask Questions: Get clarity about the topic by asking key questions. For example if they say “I find this place really interesting” then you can respond “What is it about this place you like the most?”
Another way to remember it is the following “RASA, which is the Sanskrit word for juice or essence. And RASA stands for Receive, which means pay attention to the person; Appreciate, making little noises like “hmm,” “oh,” “okay”; Summarize, the word “so” is very important in communication; and Ask, ask questions afterward.” (From Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better) These will help your date become more engaging for both. In my experience it helps bring out some very interesting topics of conversation and it helps the date run more smoothly … and that’s what everyone wants don’t they? A date that runs smoothly? Try it, it works … trust me, I know! Let me tell you a secret … come close … but you can’t tell ANYONE! Being actively engaged and listening to your date is a HUGE TURN ON. There’s NOTHING sexier than having someone’s undivided attention and knowing that they care about what you have to say … is it getting hot in here or is it just me?
So what do YOU think? How does effective listening factor into how successful your date is? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva
And really, this is just good practice whether your dating, at work, or just talking to your friends. It’s time to put the smartphone down, people, and actually interact with the person across from you.
Agreed! Active listening is definitely a good skill to have in all aspects of your life.
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