Monday, 17 March 2008

Sam: Ear Power

Listening is one of the most powerful flirting tools that you have in your arsenal. Yet often it is one of the most underused.

Essentially, people like people who listen to them. Or rather, mostly people like to talk, and like to have people listen to them. It makes them feel important. It makes them look good. And what is particularly strange, is that if you spend an entire conversation listening to someone, usually they will remember the conversation as being terribly interesting, and you having made some fantastic points.

Most people think they are listening, but don’t realise the impact they have when they withdraw their attention from someone.

Words that people use when describing how they feel when the person listening are all terribly positive. They feel listened to, important, they enjoy the conversation and feel very positive towards the person who is listening to them. They describe the experience as being much more focused, and find it much easier and more enjoyable to carry on the conversation.

Compare that with when conversation is withdrawn. Often people use the terms ‘arrogant’, ‘angry’, ‘infuriated’, ‘worthless’ – one person actually said they wanted to slap a person who wasn’t listening to get their attention! Also very interestingly people actually find it much harder to speak, they lose track of the conversation and their thoughts. The whole experience is very unpleasant when someone is not listening.

This is the power of listening. Simply by paying completely attention to the person you are listening to, you will massively boost their impression of you and the positive associations that they have with you. And really this is fundamentally what flirting in everyday life is about. It is about making the person that you are talking to feel good, so they enjoy the conversation and then they will see you in a brighter light.


Peach said...

I will talk for england if suitably indulged, so I prefer finding someone doing the talking, interesting talking, so I can shut up for once.


Anna said...

As a chronic listener, I can confirm this. All kinds of people will like you if you listen. Including people that hate your existing friends, so it puts you in interesting situations... especially since you know everyone's secrets!

Clair said...

Nice one, Sam. Also, don't forget that the world is your flirting practice zone: you can flirt with anyone and everyone - be nice to the girl on the till when you get your lunch, or offer an old lady your seat on the bus home. It doesn't always have to be sexual. You will feel like a God by making their day, and that huge grin on your face, coupled with you having done something lovely, makes you a more attractive man, instantly!

blueskies2day said...

....and, it's amazing what people will divulge if you just listen and don't speak...they just keep talking and talking and talking until they've accidentally given away some very interesting information that they didn't mean to.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Listening: the single most important fact for a man to learn. If one doesn't listen to one's partner, the relationship is not going anywhere fast. So, boys, listen up, it doesn't require much work on your part and th results can be..well let's just say, intriguing and rewarding.

Beau in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sam, I think I might have drifted off. Could you just say that again please?

Virago said...

After being a nervous babbler for years, I've learnt to ask people questions about them and then just listen. You get told all sorts of interesting secrets and make people feel interesting.

Both women and men can respond positively to this, ultimately we're all egotistical and love the sound of our voice and being a 'good listener' feeds into this.

In any relationship (long term, poly, f*ckbuddy, friendship, whatever) this skill needs to be nurtured by both/all parties. It's give and take, communicate your needs/feelings and encourage your partner/friend/sibling/llama/whatever to communicate back. It can be hard (we English can be a reticent lot at times) but it's worth it, especially when it comes to sex.*

*Disclaimer, sex with llamas or members of your family is not recommended. Especially at the same time, llamas are an emotional minefield.

Luka said...

I am sure this is simply what was once known as good manners.