Listen More; Talk Less

By: Tom Malone

How many times have we been in conversations in which someone says something and all we can think about is where our next thought and the perfect place in the conversation to interject? When that occurs, we’re not really focused on the person talking; we’re focused on ourselves, which means we’re not really listening.

In today’s “iLife” society, most people place heavy emphasis on their own opinion. With the availability of so much chatter through social media, television, radio, music outlets, (websites like, etc., it’s no wonder that people feel such immense pressure to be heard, no matter who’s listening. But what if we paused for a few moments, took the emphasis away from ourselves and pointed it at someone else? Say, someone wiser than us?

With the simple motto, “Listen More, Talk Less”, we can attain so much person value while giving someone else the attention that they need to feel valued in society. So, who do we listen to?

First, listen to older people. They’ve lived through many experiences that we’ve had, and many that we haven’t yet experienced. They’re able to look at our position in life with hindsight, a benefit that we don’t yet possess. Also, older people can be invaluable when it comes to primary sources for historical events. Each older person has an incredible story to tell if we take the time to listen.

Next, listen to children. Children have the benefit of being completely innocent. When a child looks at the world, they’re perspective is fresh and they strive to learn everything that they can about anything they can. Taking the time to listen to a child takes patience, but the end result is a refreshing perspective on the world.

Third, listen to our peers. Our peers are in the same situations and stages in life that we are, but each person has their own perspective on their given situation. By listening to new perspectives about something directly relatable to us, we can shift our perspective away from our own ego and develop a more complete worldview.

When we actually take the time to genuinely sit down and listen to somebody, we learn so much about them, ourselves, and the world. Listening, truly listening, is a skill that must be practiced, but the rewards are incredible. Not only does the listener benefit, but the person who’s talking feels valued by the listener, which creates a world of understanding.

Photo By: Tom Malone
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