Listening (quotes)

.

To listen is to give attention to another

.

The power of listening

.

Listening is a powerful and creative force for good

  • Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Dr. Karl Augustus Menninger
  • The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen. Roy E. Moody
  • Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen. Margaret J. Wheatley
  • When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . . When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. Carl Rogers
.

Listening is an essential component of effective communication

  • It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of super sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners. Erma Bombeck
  • Most experts in communication emphasize the power of attentive listening. Too often in conversation we focus not on what the other person is saying, but on what we are going to say in response.  At times we cut the other person off even before she has finished making her point.  Salle Merrill Redfield
  • The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. Peter F. Drucker
  • To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well. John Marshall
  • Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. Robert Greenleaf
  • Communication
.

Listening is a powerful way to connect to another

  • I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention And especially if it’s given from the heart. When people are talking, there’s no need to do anything but receive them. Just take them in. Listen to what they’re saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Most of us don’t value ourselves or our love enough to know this. Rachel Naomi Remen
  • You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue. JoyBell C.
  • The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well- intentioned words. Rachel Naomi Remen
  • The learned person who only talks will never penetrate to the inner heart of humans. Idries Shah
  • Connection
.

Listening breathes life into relationships

  • A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it. Steve Maraboli
  • When a man can listen to woman’s feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift. He makes it safe for her to express herself.  The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs.  John Gray
  • Honor your relationships by developing listening skills. Allan Lokos
  • Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. Ed Cunningham
  • Listen! … I could spend the rest of my life pondering on the implications of that one word. It plunges me at once into a personal relationship. Esther de Waal
  • The golden rule of friendship is to listen to others as you would have them listen to you. David Augsburger
  • The most important thing you can do in a relationship is sit down and talk to each other, not with the TV on, or at the cinema, or over a meal, but just you and the other person where you can truly be heard and truly listen to each other. Steven Aitchison
  • One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world. H. Mayo
  • Principles for healthy relationships
.

Listening brings stillness into relationships

  • True listening is another way of bringing stillness into the relationship. When you truly listen to someone, the dimension of stillness arises and becomes an essential part of the relationship. Eckhart Tolle
  • To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer the Universe. Eckhart Tolle
  • Most human interactions are confined to the exchange of words — the realm of thought. It is essential to bring some stillness, particularly into your close relationships. No relationship can thrive without the sense of spaciousness that comes with stillness. Meditate or spend silent time in nature together. When going for a walk or sitting in the car or at home, become comfortable with being in stillness together. Stillness cannot and need not be created. Just be receptive to the stillness that is already there, but is usually obscured by mental noise. If spacious stillness is missing, the relationship will be dominated by the mind and can easily be taken over by problems and conflict. If stillness is there, it can contain anything. Eckhart Tolle
  • We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them. Ram Dass
  • Let those who want, come to the well of your being, to your silence. Osho
  • Stillness
.

Listening expands the spirit

  • You lavish your soul with lashings of light in those moments that you listen, love and laugh. Robert Beno
  • Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open- hearted, non- judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand. Sue Patton Thoele
.

Listening is a catalyst to good conversation

  • A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration. The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternately absorbs and expresses ideas. Agnes Repplier
  • The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard. William Hazlitt
  • If you think communication is all talking you haven’t been listening. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Most conversations are just alternate monologues. The question is, is there any real listening going on? Leo Buscaglia
  • Know when to speak and when to listen. Conversation should be give and take. Each person involved in a conversation needs to speak and each needs to listen. Participate but don’t monopolize. Patricia Fry
  • If you think communication is all talking you haven’t been listening. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Making conversation
.

Listening makes conversations calmer and more relaxed

  • I spent most of my life waiting for my turn to speak. If you’re at all like me, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of surprise as you let others completely finish their thought before you begin yours.  Often, you will be allowing someone to feel listened to for the first time.  You will sense a feeling of relief coming from the person to whom you are speaking—and a much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of you.  No need to worry that you won’t get your turn to speak—you will.  In fact, it will be more rewarding to speak because the person you are speaking to will pick up on your respect and patience and will begin to do the same.  Richard Carlson
.

Listening is a way to learn much …

  • I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway
  • A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something. Wilson Mizner
  • Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. Jimi Hendrix
  • Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. Doug Larson
  • You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak. George Clooney
  • I believe I know why it is satisfying to me to hear someone. When I can really hear someone, it puts me in touch with him; it enriches my life. It is through hearing people that I have learned all that I know about individuals, about personality, about interpersonal relationships. Carl Rogers
  • I’ve never learned anything while I was talking. Larry King
  • Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. Robert Frost
  • I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers. Kahlil Gibran
  • Remember: when you talk you only repeat what you already know, but if you listen you may learn something. Amish School Saying
  • When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know; but when you listen, you may learn something new. The Dalai Lama
  • Learning
.

… creating a path to wisdom

  • Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. Jimi Hendrix
  • It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. Jimi Hendrix
  • Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. Doug Larson
  • Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non- conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions. Eckhart Tolle
  • Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • When the wisdom speaks, be silent. Do not waste your candle when the sun is there. Mehmet Murat ildan
  • Talk less. Listen more. Tune in to eternal wisdom from deep within. Philip Arnold
  • In seeking Wisdom, the first state is silence, the second listening, the third remembrance, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching. Rabbi Solomon Ibn Gabirol
  • The root of not listening is knowing. If I already know the truth, why do I need to listen to you? Adam Kahane
  • Wisdom
.

Listening is a powerful tool to influence another

  • To listen well is as powerful a means to influence as to talk well and is as essential to all true conversations. Chinese proverb
  • You never get people’s fuller attention than when you’re listening to them. Robert Brault
  • To seduce most anyone, ask for and listen to his opinion. Malcolm Forbes
  • Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. Martin Farquhar Tupper
  • Influence
.

Listening soothes conflict

  • Sometimes we have a confused notion that listening means agreement. It doesn’t. Whether we agree or don’t is a separate matter; we need to hear what someone has to say without confusing it with whether we see things the same way. Diane Musho Hamilton
  • Though the journey through conflict may seem perilous, we each have available to us a power to ease our way. This power quells anger, builds bridges of understanding, and wins us a hearing with even the most stubborn person. It is freely accessible to us and requires only that we let go of the need to be right (although some might find this a steep price). This greatly underused power is that of listening. Gary Harper
  • There’s power in the words “Yes, yes, I see exactly what you’re saying. You mean…….” This shows the other person you hear him/her. That’s all they usually want — to be validated. By agreeing with them, you gradually break down the other person’s anger. Stephen Hopson
  • Conflict management
.

True listening

.

True listening seeks to understand

  • A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with. Kenneth A. Wells
  • Effective listening requires more than hearing the words transmitted. It demands that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. After all, meanings are not in the words, but in the people. Herb Cohen
  • It’s a mistake to think we listen only with our ears. It’s much more important to listen with the mind, the eyes, the body, and the heart. Unless you truly want to understand the other person, you’ll never be able to listen. Mark Herndon
  • Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words. Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
  • To resolve difficult interactions, we have to go beyond a superficial attempt at understanding. We have to listen deeply for the clues that show us a meaning beneath the words.  If we listen to someone carefully, we will hear certain words or phrases that describe how the other person views the world.  When we listen deeply to others, it makes them feel validated and understood.  It lifts them into a higher awareness of who they are and what they believe.  This is similar to what happens in the active listening of a therapeutic situation.  Salle Merrill Redfield
  • Really listening and suspending one’s own judgment is necessary in order to understand other people on their own terms. As we have noted, this is a process that requires trust and builds trust.  Mary Field Belenky
  • Respect comes from understanding each other’s stories. But we shout over each other and forget to listen. If we listened, we would find that what the other person was saying is an echo of what we are saying ourselves. Muhtar Bakare
  • The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. Ralph G. Nichols
  • Understanding
.

True listening suspends preconception and judgement

  • There is a silence that matches our best possibilities when we have learned to listen to others. We can master the art of being quiet in order to be able to hear clearly what others are saying. . . . We need to cut off the garbled static of our own preoccupations to give to people who want our quiet attention.  Eugene Kennedy
  • It’s not at all hard to understand a person; it’s only hard to listen without bias. Criss Jami, Killosophy
  • Really listening and suspending one’s own judgment is necessary in order to understand other people on their own terms. As we have noted, this is a process that requires trust and builds trust.  Mary Field Belenky
  • Don’t think or judge, just listen. Sarah Dessen
  • Genuine listening means suspending memory, desire, and judgment—and for a few moments, at least, existing for the other person. Michael P. Nichols
  • Reflective listening demonstrates that we care enough to hear the other person out, rather than just focusing on our own point of view. It actually fosters empathy. Naomi Drew, M.A.
  • Let go of the need to judge
.

True listening suspends inner chatter

  • Attentive listening is never an easy task–it consumes psychic energy at a rate that tires and surprises me. But it is made easier when I am holding back my own authoritative impulses.  When I suspend, for just a while, my inner chatter about what I am going to say next, I open room within myself to receive the external conversation.  Parker J. Palmer
  • To listen, we need to empty ourselves for a while. We need to adjourn the committee in our heads and invite its members to take an extended vacation.  In order to listen fully, we have to be able to dismiss idle head chatter, criticism, and judgmentalism.  Anne Wilson Schaef
.

True listening listens to what is said and also what is not said

  • One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people. John O’Donohue
  • The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. Peter F. Drucker
  • The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather to what he does not say. Kahlil Gibran
  • Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person’s silence. Nicole Krauss
  • I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. Charles C. Finn
  • One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people. John O’Donohue
  • I guess I’ve spent my life listening to what wasn’t being said. Eli Khamarov, America Explained!
.

True listening is fully receptive and open to change

  • Our most common way of talking is telling: asserting the truth about the way things are and must be, not allowing that there might be other truths and possibilities. And our most common way of listening is not listening: listening only to our own talking, not to others. Adam Kahane
  • Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Max Ehrman
  • Listening is a primitive act of love in which a person gives him- or herself to another’s word, making oneself accessible and vulnerable to that word. William Stringfellow
  • Listening is about becoming vulnerable, about letting the defense mechanisms fall away that deafen us or influence what we take in. It is about humility before life, which is over and above us. Indeed, we can see that to be oriented toward life means to be listening. Jean Vanier
  • Listening is being able to be changed by the other person. Alan Alda
  • In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. Mark Nepo
  • It takes a disciplined person to listen to convictions which are different from their own. Dorothy Fuldman
  • OpennessOpen-mindedness
.

True listening listens with compassion

  • Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it Compassionate Listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less. If you want to help him to correct his perception, you wait for another time. For now, you don’t interrupt. You don’t argue. If you do, he loses his chance. You just listen with compassion and help him to suffer less. One hour like that can bring transformation and healing. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • When we honestly ask ourselves which person in ourlives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. Henri Nouwen
  • Compassion
.

More qualities of true listening

  • What does it mean to listen to a voice before it is spoken? It means making space for the other, being aware of the other, paying attention to the other, honoring the other.  It means not rushing to fill their silences with fearful speech of our own and not trying to coerce them into saying the things that we want to hear.  It means entering empathetically into their world so that he or she perceives you as someone who has the promise of being able to hear another person’s truth. Parker J. Palmer
.

Listening is an act of love

.

Listening is an act of love …

  • Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. J. Isham
  • The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich
  • All things and all people, so to speak, call on us with small or loud voices. They want us to listen.  They want us to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of being. But we can give it to them only through the love that listens. Paul Tillich
  • How can we communicate love? I think three things are involved. We must reach out to a person, make contact. We must listen with the heart, be sensitive to the other’s needs. We must respond in a language that the person can understand. Many of us do all the talking. We must learn to listen and to keep on listening. Princess Pale Moon
  • Listening is a primitive act of love in which a person gives him – or herself to another’s word, making oneself accessible and vulnerable to that word. William Stringfellow
  • Listening is a very active awareness of the coming together of at least two lives. Listening, as far as I’m concerned, is certainly a prerequisite of love. One of the most essential ways of saying ‘I love you’ is being a receptive listener. Fred Rogers
  • One who cares is one who listens. Richard Clarke
  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia
  • Love
.

… for the greatest gift we can give another is our full attention

  • The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. Richard Moss
  • One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention. Jim Rohn
  • The most precious gift we can offer anyone is…our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another’s existence. Sue Atchley Ebaugh
  • The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is listen. Roy Moddy
  • Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival—to be affirmed, to be appreciated, and to be understood. Stephen Covey
  • Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Simone Weil
  • Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. Jim Rohn
  • Attention
.

Listening affirms another

  • Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people. Mary Kay Ash
  • Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. Joyce Brothers
  • The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought and attended to my answer. Henry David Thoreau
  • AffirmationEncouragement
.

Listening can be a transformative act of healing and comfort

  • If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. Brené Brown
  • Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort. Roy T. Bennett
  • Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness.  Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person.  That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others.  That which is hidden. In this culture the soul and the heart too often go homeless. Listening creates a holy silence.  When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.  And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone.  Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.  Rachel Naomi Remen
  • With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing. Catherine de Hueck Doherty
  • Healing
.

Learn to listen actively and deeply

.

Learn to listen

  • There is only one rule for being a good talker: learn to listen. Christopher Morley
  • You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual’s own frame of reference? Stephen Covey
  • Hearing is one of the body’s five senses. But listening is an art. Frank Tyger
  • Don’t explain or justify. Wayne Dyer
  • We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Epictetus
  • You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. M. Scott Peck
  • Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you into trouble. Frank Tyger
.

Listen with your full attention and focus …

  • You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. M. Scott Peck
  • To hear something asks very little of us. To listen places our entire being on notice. Terry Tempest Williams
  • To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. Mark Nepo
  • Simple science shows us that no two things can take up the same space at the same time. So it is with listening.  You cannot think and listen; read and listen; day dream and listen; write and listen; agree, disagree, argue, interpret, mind read, rehearse, plot, plan, placate, or even listen and listen.  Listening requires our full and focused attention on the other person.  Real listening truly honors people.  Authentic Listening can actually heal people.  John Milton Fogg
  • When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway
.

… taking your attention off yourself

  • Listening is a rare happening among human beings. You cannot listen to the word another is speaking if you are preoccupied with your appearance, or with impressing the other, or are trying to decide what you are going to say when the other stops talking, or are debating about whether what is being said is true or relevant or agreeable.  Such matters have their place, but only after listening to the word as the word is being uttered.  Listening is a primitive act of love in which a person gives him- or herself to another’s word, making oneself accessible and vulnerable to that word.  William Stringfellow
.

Listen with your whole body

  • And with listening, too, it seems to me, it is not the ear that hears, it is not the physical organ that performs the act of inner receptivity. It is the total person who hears.  Sometimes the skin seems to be the best listener, as it prickles and thrills, say to a sound or a silence; or the fantasy, the imagination:  how it bursts into inner pictures as it listens and then responds by pressing its language, its forms, into the listening clay.  To be open to what we hear, to be open in what we say. M.C. Richards
.

Learn with genuine interest

  • Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. Alice Deur Miller
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Dale Carnegie
  • Be genuinely interested in the lives of other people. Be very present-moment oriented with others. Look them in the eye and really focus on what they’re saying. Care about them as individuals. Ask about their families. Listen, listen, listen. Richard Carlson
  • There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy. Mark Twain
  • Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something. Proverb
  • Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours. Benjamin Disraeli
  • There’s a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest. Michael P. Nichols
  • Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence. David Byrne
.

Listen from the heart

  • Listening may be one of the most important activities we can choose to participate in in our entire lives. Listening–really good listening–involves a great deal more than our ears.  To listen, we need to empty ourselves for a while…   We have to open our hearts as well.  The absolute very best listening is done with our hearts, not our heads.  We have to be willing to let the words enter our beings, where they can be tenderly sifted and sorted so that we are available to know the various levels of their true meaning.  Then, we have to be willing to open our beings so that the deep crevices of our ancient, connected minds can caress that which goes beyond the frail utterance of words. Listening is a highly complex and intimate process. Anne Wilson Schaef
  • If I dare to hear you; I will feel you like the sun and grow in your direction. Mark Nepo
  • If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold ever-more wonders. Andrew Harvey
  • There’s a difference between listening passively and listening aggressively. To listen with your heart, you have to listen actively. John Maxwell
  • The heart
.

Listen to feelings as well as words

  • So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it. Jiddu Krishnamurti
.

Pause before speaking …

  • Breathe before you speak. Pause – breathe – after the person to whom you are speaking is finished. Richard Carlson
  • Become a better listener and a more peaceful person by slowing down your responses. Don’t fire back your response. Wait for the person you are listening to finish. You’ll notice that the pressure you feel is off. Richard Carlson
  • Breathe before you speak. The almost immediate results from this strategy include increased patience, added perspective, and, as a side benefit, more gratitude and respect. Richard Carlson
  • When you breathe before you speak, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of surprise as you let others completely finish their thought before you begin yours. You will feel a sense of relief coming from the person to whom you are speaking—and a much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of you. Richard Carlson
  • I am annoyed by individuals who are embarrassed by pauses in a conversation. To me, every conversational pause refreshes.  George Sanders
.

… allowing the speaker to get to the end of their sentences

  • This is the problem with dealing with someone who is actually a good listener. They don’t jump in on your sentences, saving you from actually finishing them, or talk over you, allowing what you do manage to get out to be lost or altered in transit. Instead, they wait, so you have to keep going.   Sarah Dessen
  • Learning the value of silence is learning to listen to, instead of screaming at, reality: opening your mind enough to find what the end of someone else’s sentence sounds like. Monks of New Skete
.

Listen actively by paraphrasing what you hear

  • When the other person is trying to explain his or her perspective on a subject, force yourself to pay attention, and reaffirm that effort by paraphrasing what the person says. Carefully and thoughtfully rephrase their ideas aloud so that they know you hear what they say. Nathan Chandler
  • Try repeating the words that someone is saying to you. This mirroring technique can keep both the speaker and the listener ‘centered’ in a difficult conversation, especially when the attitude of the person doing the mirroring is to gain understanding of a different point of view. Clare Albright, Psy.D.
.

Listen more and speak less

.

Many of us don’t really listen.  We’re too busy speaking or thinking.

  • Most people don’t know how to listen because the major part of listening is taken up by thinking. They pay more attention to that than what the other person is saying. Eckhart Tolle
  • Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. Stephen Covey
  • True listening is a rare skill. Usually, the greater part of a person’s attention is taken up by their thinking. At best, they may be evaluating your words or preparing the next thing to say. Or they may not be listening at all, lost in their own thoughts. Eckhart Tolle
  • Most conversations are just alternate monologues. The question is, is there any real listening going on.  Leo Buscaglia
  • Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. Robert Greenleaf
  • Two monologues do not make a dialogue. Jeff Daly
  • Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness. Margaret Millar
  • It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of super sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners. Erma Bombeck
  • There are always more people who prefer to speak than to listen. Paul Dirac
  • One thing which makes us find so few people who appear reasonable and agreeable in conversation is, that there is scarcely anyone who does not think more of what they are about to say than of answering precisely what is said to them. The cleverest and most complaisant people content themselves with merely showing an attentive countenance, while we can see in their eyes and minds a wandering from what is said to them, and an impatience to return to what they wish to say; instead of reflecting that it is a bad method of pleasing or persuading others to be so studious of pleasing oneself; and that listening well and answering well is one of the greatest perfections that can be attained in conversation. Duc de la Rochefoucauld
.

Talk less; talk less

  • It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all. Democritus
  • Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. American Indian proverb
  • The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’. Alfred Brendel
  • Talk less. Listen more. Tune in to eternal wisdom from deep within. Philip Arnold
  • Bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen. Ambrose Bierce
  • Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen. Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear. Mark Twain
  • If you keep your mouth shut you will never put your foot in it. Austin O’Malley
  • If you have nothing to say, say nothing. Mark Twain
  • If only we listened with the same passion that we feel about being heard. Harriet Lerner
  • Never miss a good chance to shut up. Will Rogers
  • People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say. Kurt Vonnegut
  • There are always more people who prefer to speak than to listen. Paul Dirac
  • There is only one rule for being a good talker: learn to listen. Christopher Morley
  • We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Epictetus
  • A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.
  • Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. Native American proverb
.

Don’t feel compelled to natter away just for the sake of it

  • Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken. Orson Rega Card
  • An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind. Walter Bagehot
  • Does it seem sometimes that you are always the one to break an embarrassing silence — and always by saying something more embarrassing than the silence? Robert Brault
  • Don’t feel compelled to natter away just for the sake of it
  • Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence. Spanish Proverb
  • Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. Robert Charles Benchley
  • If everybody thought before they spoke, the silence would be deafening. George Barzan
  • If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind. Buddha
  • Isn’t it surprising how many things, if not said immediately, seem not worth saying ten minutes from now? Arnot L. Sheppard, Jr.
  • The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it. Frank M. Garafola
  • Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. Martin Farquhar Tupper
  • Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. Plato
.

Listen in a state of alert, aware presence

.

Listen in a state of presence by being an alert field of awareness …

  • When listening to another person, don’t just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body. Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen.That takes attention away from thinking and creates a still space that enables you to truly listen without the mind interfering. You are giving the other person space – space to be. It is the most precious gift you can give. Eckhart Tolle
  • True listening goes far beyond auditory perception. It is the arising of alert attention, a space of presence in which the words are being received. The words now become secondary. They may be meaningful or they may not make sense. Far more important than what you are listening to is the act of listening itself, the space of conscious presence that arises as you listen. That space is a unifying field of awareness in which you meet the other person without the separative barriers created by conceptual thinking. And now the other person is no longer “other.” In that space, you are joined together as one awareness, one consciousness. Eckhart Tolle
  • The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • When you meet with people, at work or wherever it may be, give them your fullest attention. You are no longer there primarily as a person, but as a field of awareness, of alert Presence. The original reason for interacting with the other person—buying or selling something, requesting or giving information, and so on—now becomes secondary. The field of awareness that arises between you becomes the primary purpose for the interaction. That space of awareness becomes more important than what you may be talking about, more important than physical or thought objects. The human Being becomes more important than the things of this world. The arising of that unifying field of awareness between human beings is the most essential factor in relationships on the new earth. Eckhart Tolle
  • Awareness
.

… with an alert inner stillness, free of thought

  • Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed and hear beneath the words to their meaning. Peter Senge
  • When you give your fullest attention to whoever you are interacting with, you take past and future out of the relationship, except for practical matters. When you are fully present with everyone you meet, you relinquish the conceptual identity you made for them — your interpretation of who they are and what they did in the past — and are able to interact without the egoic movements of desire and fear. Attention, which is alert stillness, is the key. Eckhart Tolle
  • If we try to listen we find it extraordinarily difficult, because we are always projecting our opinions and ideas, our prejudices, our background, our inclinations, our impulses; when they dominate, we hardly listen at all to what is being said. In that state there is no value at all. One listens and therefore learns, only in a state of attention a state of silence in which this whole background is in abeyance, is quiet; then, it seems to me, it is possible to communicate. Krisnamurti
.

Listen within

.

Still the mind and listen deep within  …

  • Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb. Pythagoras
  • If only we could be enlightened enough to be able to listen in the silence. Paulo Coelho
  • Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak. Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
  • Learn silence. With the quiet serenity of a meditative mind, listen, absorb, transcribe, and transform. Pythagoras
  • Listen to the silence… it has much to say. Susan Jeffers
  • The way to silence is through meditation. When you arrive in your own silence, you will know true freedom and real power. Stop, take a minute, and listen to the silence within you today. Then be aware of what disturbs you inner silence. It could be negative thought, memories or sensations. And when you are aware, you will know what is draining your creative power, and you will know what needs to change….on the inside. Karen Beacon
  • Whenever we moderns pause for a moment, and enter the silence, and listen very carefully, the glimmer of our deepest nature begins to shine forth, and we are introduced to the mysteries of the deep, the call of the within, the infinite radiance of a splendor that time and space forgot. Ken Wilber
.

… and inner truths will be revealed

  • If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the
  • It is only when we are silent to the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorstep of our hearts. K.T. Jong
  • Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration. Listen carefully. Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • The quieter you become… the more you hear. Ram Dass
  • I know when I have a problem and have done all I can to figure it, I keep listening in a sort of inside silence till something clicks and I feel a right answer. Conrad Hilton
  • If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth. Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you. Kabir
.

Listen to your intuition

  • To whatever degree you listen and follow your intuition, you become a creative channel for the higher power of the universe. Shakti Gawain
  • Listen to your intuition it will tell you all you need to know. Anthony J. D’Angelo
  • I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me. Herman Hesse
  • Awaken intuition. Reflect on the fact that the perfect answers and solutions exist within you. State clearly what it is that you wish your subconscious to bring to you. Repeat confidently “My subconscious is now bringing me…” Relax and fill your mind with faith and expectancy that the right answers will come. Then listen to your feelings and hunches and “inner voice.” John Kehoe
  • Intuition
.

Listen to your deep inner wisdom

  • Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non- conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions. Eckhart Tolle
  • Talk less. Listen more. Tune in to eternal wisdom from deep within. Philip Arnold
  • The voice of wisdom is inherent within us and willing to guide us when we stop to listen. Of course, there are times when we feel we’ve been still as stone, and the still, small voice is still too quiet to hear.  When this happens, the challenge is to practice quieting your mind anyway.  Stopping and asking, quieting and listening, trusting and waiting.  Waiting is difficult but worth the effort because a quiet, uncluttered mind is a natural antenna for whispers of wisdom from within.  Sue Patton Thoele
  • Inner wisdom
.

Listen to your body

  • Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen. Shakti Gawain
  • What can you do to start listening to your body? The most basic elements are as follows: Feel what you feel. Don’t talk yourself into denial. Accept what you feel. Don’t judge what’s actually there. Be open to your body. It’s always speaking. Be willing to listen. Trust your body. Every cell is on your side, which means you have hundreds of billions of allies.  Deepak Chopra
  • I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me. Herman Hesse
  • One time I don’t think you should listen to your body is when it says, “I’m dead.” Jack Handey
.

Listen to your heart; to your feelings

  • Whether you succeed or not, people will talk about you. Forget about what they say and listen to what your heart believes in. Kevin Keenoo
  • Real feelings are the language of the soul. I listen. Neale Donald Walsch
  • The soul speaks to you in feelings. Listen to your feelings, follow your feelings, honour your feelings. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” “Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure. Paulo Coelho
  • You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart. George Michael
  • We all have an inner voice, our personal whisper from the universe. All we have to do is listen — feel and sense it with an open heart. Sometimes it whispers of intuition or precognition. Other times, it whispers an awareness, a remembrance from another plane. Dare to listen. Dare to hear with your heart.  J. Heck
  • A quick way to insanity is to listen to the world, and what it has to say about you. A sure way to stay sane is to listen to the gentle guidance given by your own heart.  Robert Beno
  • I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am.  Sylvia Plath
  • Listen and attend with the ear of your heart. Saint Benedict
  • You should listen to your heart and not the voices in your head. Marge Simpson
  • Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.  Native American
.

Listen to your inner voice

  • Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, stop caring about what others think. Roy T. Bennett
  • We all have an inner voice, our personal whisper from the universe. All we have to do is listen — feel and sense it with an open heart. Sometimes it whispers of intuition or precognition. Other times, it whispers an awareness, a remembrance from another plane.  Dare to listen. Dare to hear with your heart.  CJ Heck
  • The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside. Only they who listen can speak.  Dag Hammarskjold
.

Listen to your own ideas

  • If you do not listen to your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also, you will have betrayed our community in failing to make your contribution to the whole. Rollo May
.

What else to listen to

.

Just stop and listen intently to what is around you

  • Several times a day, stop and just listen. Open your hearing 360 degrees, as if your ears were giant radar dishes. Listen to the obvious sounds, and the subtle sounds—in your body, in the room, in the building, and outside. Listen as if you had just landed from a foreign planet and didn’t know what was making these sounds. See if you can hear all sounds as music being played just for you. Even in what is called silence there is sound. To hear such subtle sound, the mind must be very quiet. Jan Chozen Bays
.

Listen to silence

  • After a time, I found that I could almost listen to the silence, which had a dimension all of its own. I started to attend to its strange and beautiful texture, which of course, it was impossible to express in words. Karen Armstrong
  • Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully. Norton Juster
  • I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. Chaim Potok
  • No, my soul is not asleep. It is awake, wide awake. It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches, its eyes wide open far off things, and listens at the shores of the great silence. Antonio Machado
  • Our task is to listen to the news that is always arriving out of silence. Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily. Gwendolyn Bennett
  • There comes in all our lives a time … when the ears can listen to no music save what the moonlight breathes through the flute of silence. Marcel Proust
  • You can listen to silence, Reuven. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it… You have to want to listen to it, and then you can hear it. It has a strange, beautiful texture. It doesn’t always talk. Sometimes – sometimes it cries, and you can hear the pain of the world in it. It hurts to listen to it then. But you have to. Chaim Potok
  • Silence
.

Listen to nature

  • Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind. Madeleine L’Engle
  • We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm… As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence. André Kostelanetz
  • Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat. Vijali Hamilton
  • Nature tops the list of potent tranquilizers and stress reducers. The mere sound of moving water has been shown to lower blood pressure. Patch Adams
  • If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat. Vijali Hamilton
  • I will take time each day to commune with nature and to silently witness the intelligence within every living thing. I will sit silently and watch a sunset or listen to the sound of the ocean or a stream, or simply smell the scent of a flower. Deepak Chopra
  • The earth has music for those who listen. George Santayana
  • It is the language of nature to which one has to listen. Vincent van Gogh
  • When you come upon a magic place… Listen.
  • Nature holds all the answers – go outside and ask some questions – open your heart and listen to the response! Amethyst Wyldfyre
  • I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will but listen. George Washington Carver
  • Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass unter the trees on a spring day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. John Lubbock
  • The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Rumi
  • Nature
.

Listen to music

  • My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. Edith Sitwell
  • If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week. Charles Darwin
  • Listening to music mindfully can be a powerful way of increasing your quality of life. We really found significant increases in the participants’ aesthetic and flow experience. Some were intense. They were really in the zone. Frank Diaz
  • Music
.

Listen to God …

  • God speaks to us every day only we don’t know how to listen. Mohandas Gandhi
  • In this noisy, restless, bewildering age, there is a great need for quietness of spirit. Even in our communion with God we are so busy presenting our problems, asking for help, seeking relief that we leave no moments of silence to listen for God’s answers. By practice we can learn to submerge our spirits beneath the turbulent surface waves of life and reach that depth of our being where all is still, where no storms can reach us.  Here only can we forget the material world and its demands on us.  Alice Hegan Rice
  • Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears. Criss Jami
  • God
.

… realising that true prayer is about listening

  • The real “work” of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me. To gently push aside and silence the many voices that question my goodness and to trust that I will hear the voice of blessing– that demands real effort.   Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer. Mother Teresa
  • In listening you are not waiting for anything – there is just a field of pure attention. That is a much deeper prayer than any words.  True prayer is where prayer also becomes meditation.  Not even wanting an answer, it’s enough to be in the silence.  Sometimes an answer comes, or the thing becomes resolved, sometimes, suddenly. Listen.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation-and for me the most important part is listening to God’s replies. Frank C. Laubach
  • Prayer
.

Listen to actions as much as words

  • To assess the quality of thoughts of people, don’t listen to their words, but watch their actions. Amit Kalantri
  • Action
.

On a lighter note

  • If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear. Mark Twain
  • I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. Robert McCloskey
  • All I know is I make sense to me- it’s other people who seem complicated. Tara Kelly
  • Don’t interrupt me while I’m giving you my undivided attention. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen. Ambrose Bierce
  • Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble. Frank Tyger
  • Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. James Baldwin
  • Home is where you can say anything you like cause nobody listens to you anyway.
  • If animals could talk, the world would lose its best listeners. Robert Brault
  • My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that’s what she said.
  • No one is listening until you fart.
  • No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why. Mignon McLaughlin
  • The only way to entertain most people is to listen to them. Elbert Hubbard
  • Women like silent men. They think they’re listening. Marcel Achard
  • If you think communication is all talking you haven’t been listening. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • I said “no” to drugs, but they just wouldn’t listen.
  • A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat. Katharine Whitehorn
  • A good listener is usually thinking about something else. Frank  …  Kin’ Hubbard
  • A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him. Brendan Francis Behan
  • A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists. Don Marquis
  • An actor is the kind of guy who if you ain’t talking about him ain’t listening. George Glass
  • An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger. Dan Rather
  • Any man who forgets his wedding anniversary just wasn’t listening. Wesley S. Izzard
  • At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice. Church Bulletin
  • Coaches who start listening to fans wind up sitting next to them. Johnny Kerr
  • Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on.
  • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper. Robert Frost
  • Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens.
  • Friend: A person who listens attentively while you say nothing.
  • Funny how they say we need to talk when they really mean you need to listen.
  • Group Discussion: A place where everybody talks nobody, listens and everybody disagrees later on.
  • How long is it polite to pretend to continue to listen to someone after they’ve revealed they’ve got a boyfriend? Russell Brand
  • I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.   Woody Allen
  • I don’t date older women because it takes too long to listen to their life story.
  • I never repeat gossip so listen carefully the first time.
  • I say no to alcohol, it just doesn’t listen.
  • I’ll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has got to say. Elizabeth Gaskell
  • I’m always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I’m listening to it. George Carlin
  • If a coach starts listening to the fans he ends up sitting next to them. Johnny Kerr
  • If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening be patient; it may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear. Winnie the Pooh
  • It takes patience to listen. it takes skill to pretend you’re listening.
  • Just give me a shave… I haven’t time to listen to a haircut.
  • Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. Native American proverb
  • My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. Edith Sitwell
  • My wife keeps complaining I never listen to her (or something like that).
  • Neighbors: The only people who listen to both sides of an argument.
  • Parliament is a place where a man gets up to speak, says nothing and nobody listens and then everyone disagrees.
  • She descended from a line her mother listened to many years ago.
  • Sleep is an excellent way of listening to an opera. James Stephens
  • Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum. Edmond & Jules de Goncourt
  • Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours. Benjamin Disraeli
  • The honeymoon is definitely over when she starts calling him “Listen” instead of “Honey.” Herm Albright
  • The lower one speaks the closer a woman listens. Marcel Achard
  • The only people who listen to both sides of a family quarrel are the next-door neighbors.
  • The only person who listens to both sides of a husband and wife argument is the woman in the next apartment. Sam Levenson
  • The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them. Frank  …Kin’ Hubbard
  • The reason most people talk to themselves is because they’re often the only ones who will listen. Alfred E. Neuman
  • We talked for four hours. Well, I talked for four, and she listened for two. Jarod Kintz
  • When a man won’t listen to his conscience, it’s usually because he doesn’t want advice from a total stranger. Lindsey Stewart
  • When some things go wrong at home, I always give my wife a good listening to.
  • Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. Doug Larson
  • You should listen to your heart and not the voices in your head. Marge Simpson
.
.