One of those nebulous good qualities that girls are always raving about is that their boyfriend is a “good listener.” For those of you single guys out there (or those of you dating or married guys who have been told that you’re a bad listener), here are three simple steps to being a good listener:
1) Don’t interrupt her. It sounds obvious but there are so many times that guys cut a girl off in the middle of a rant. It will end. I promise. When there have been a good three seconds of silence, then it is safe to talk.
2) Once the rant is over, find a feeling word that sums it up. Example: “I hate my boss! She asks for my opinion then completely disregards it!” You: “That sounds frustrating.” See? “Frustrating” is your feeling word. Other good ones? Disappointing, upsetting, messed-up, hard, crappy, stupid… there are a ton! At this point, she will look at you like you’re the best thing ever. And she’ll keep talking about it. This is good! The more she talks now, the less you’ll be blind-sided with it at dinner!
3) And finally? This will be the hardest thing: Don’t try to fix it. Even if you know how to fix it. Even if fixing problems is your specialty. Don’t fix it. The instant you try to fix her problem, you will un-do all the awesome listening you did before. Keep naming the feelings until the rant runs out. If she asks for your advice, then you may give it! But no, absolutely NO trying to fix her problem without being asked to fix it.
Good luck with your listening skills, gents!