Listening with affection and excitement

posted by Jason Kottke Jan 10, 2005

Brenda Ueland on listening:

I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: 'Tell me more. This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then he will be wonderfully alive.'

I need to listen more and be listened to better. This is probably as good a New Year's resolution as any.