Another part of being fully present is in being able to listen to what others have to say and allow them to really feel heard. One of the biggest complaints that women make about men is that they aren’t good at listening. However it has been my experience that a man who demonstrates that he is a good listener while at the same time being strong and masculine is always in demands.
While being a good listener is a powerful way to generate rapport and build an emotional connection with a woman, there may be some situations as you are first meeting a woman where fully demonstrating those skills may be limited. For example there are times when you are initially getting to know a woman before you have established the seduction frame where you want to take care that you don’t come across as too needy. However once you have established an initial degree of attraction and value for yourself you can quickly transition into establishing a connection with your listening skills.
Here are a few tips to practice to help develop your listening skills which you can practice with anyone. Developing these skills will in turn help you when it comes to meeting women and help build an emotional connection with them. As you allow the other person to feel heard your own words and communication will become that much more accepted by the other person and that they are more open to your suggestions (which can be a very good thing).
Pay attention to the person who is speaking
1) Maintain eye contact and allow other people to kind of fade into the background such that the person who is speaking to you seems to fill your field of vision. For people who aren’t used to this it might feel a little uncomfortable at first but it is effective at directing your focus and allowing the other person to feel that they have your full undivided attention.
2) Quiet your own thoughts that would distract you. This can include your rebuttal to what they would say and also any other thoughts that you may have had outside the present moment. A good way to do this is to repeat back their words in your own voice and allow yourself to create images and feelings to bring to life what they are saying.
3) Pause before replying to what the other person says, taking a breath is all the time that is usually necessary. This reinforces that you are actually listening to what the other person is saying and gives them a moment to stop and prepare to listen to you.
4) Use open body language when talking to the other person. In other words make sure that your arms and legs are uncrossed and that you are looking directly at the other person.
5) As you listen summarize and repeat back what you have heard to make sure that you have heard it accurately and to establish commonality. This can also include repeating back the words that they emphasize or lean on. You might also ask open ended questions to continue the line of thought For example she might say that a trip to Africa “expanded” her awareness of the world and of herself. You might say “so this trip really taught you a lot about yourself and how you interact with other people.” What are some other experiences that you would say have really “expanded” your awareness of the world?
6) Contribute your own interesting stories or experiences to build upon what she has said and continue the conversational topic. i.e. I also had an experience awhile back while traveling, although mine was in Europe… Or you can acknowledge what she has said and smoothly transition the conversational topic from one approach to another, i.e. I have found that in addition to traveling I have often had experiences where I can really expand myself in various ways.
Be open and non-judgmental
1) Maintain open body language, to show receptiveness to what they are saying.
2) Be aware of the other person’s body language too, are they uncomfortable talking about some things. Notice and acknowledge what they appear to be feeling. This will build rapport and give them an opportunity to share what they are feeling and change the conversation if they want.
3) If you disagree with something that the other person says always allow the other person to finish without interrupting.
4) If you disagree with them and it’s not important to you, just nod and change the subject. Or if you do disagree and think it is important to express it, do so respectfully in a way that doesn’t make them feel stupid or invalidate them as a person. Differentiate between your disagreement with the idea and your respect and acceptance of the other person.
Use softeners like “I understand where you are coming from/ I respect your opinion/ See how you could think that way, however I respectfully disagree / in my experience/ I see things this way/ have a different opinion/ disagree with that approach or idea …”
5) If you find yourself having a strong emotional reaction to something that someone has said, ask them to clarify what they said. i.e. “Ok, when you said that did you really mean to say that all men are stupid …”
So there are a few things that you can do to develop your skills as an active listener and conversationalist. You will notice that if you focus on 1 or 2 of them every day your conversations with other people will tend to become more interesting and meaningfull.