People Love Talking, So You Should Consider Listening

“My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”

-Aristotle

People love talking (especially about themselves). They love talking about their problems and their life. But when someone talks, there needs to be someone to listen. So, you should consider being that someone.

Let me explain.

Recently I realized I have a large circle of good friends. I hypothesize it’s not because I am spectacular and everyone wants to be around me, but because I listen to my friends and I help them, in other words I’m a good friend. Now, I’m not belittling any of my past and current friendships. I value them. As a sign of my friendship, I respect them enough to listen and help when I can. Their problems become my problems. And like any of my problems, I try to find a way to resolve them. Sometimes, listening is all it takes. Other times, they want me to give them my opinion or do them a favor. And the more I listen and help, the stronger my relationships become. They begin to confide in me more and more. And I continue to listen to them and to help them.

Now, this all seems obvious. A good friend is someone who listens to you and helps you. But it is easier to pay lip service to these things then it is to do them. Sometimes, you’d rather be the one talking (and maybe you should consider listening instead). Other times, you are too preoccupied with other things that you completely disregard your friend. Especially when you give more attention to your phone than your friend (and I know I’ve done this before). Sometimes, your friend needs your help and you don’t feel like helping out, even if they would take the time to help you if you were in such a predicament.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you drop everything you’re doing to help your friend out all time. Rather, I’m suggesting that you be as available and reliable as possible. Even if you can’t do something for your friend, it is better to make an effort when you can than it is to promise that you’ll do something and not do it. So, give your undivided attention. Give a helping hand. Because if you listen, and help when you can, you will have many good (and reliable) friendships. TC mark

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