Active listening is a method of demonstrating attention and reflecting the feelings of the interlocutor in a conversation, to provide an opportunity for free expression of feelings and thoughts by the interlocutor. It is widely used in psychology for working with clients, during psychological consultations or psychotherapy sessions. Initially, active listening appeared as a psychotherapeutic technique and was used only by psychologists in the process of work.
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Listening to the person you are talking to is not an easy task. The simple act of passive listening without interrupting is not an easy task for many, but doing so that the person you want to share their thoughts and feelings with you is all the more important. Active listening is an effort, and the given work is no longer even of the mind, but of the soul. Being on the interlocutor’s thoughts without being distracted by his or her own, immersing himself or herself in the interlocutor’s feelings, and responding positively to them, continuing to keep the interlocutor in the center of the conversation is the art of active listening. The external expression of active listening is the signs of hearing: turning or tilting the body toward the person you are talking to, nodding, flashing your eyes, assenting in agreement, making sounds as a sign of listening.
I encountered active listeners before I knew what active listening was, and I always considered these people as the politest and the most interesting ones. However, now, I realize that it is a skill that can be learned and implemented in my daily life. For instance, my introverted friends used to shy away from opening themselves up to me, but after I began to listen to them actively, they revealed their full personalities.