Just admit it, you don’t get it

In your relationship life, being a good listener makes all the difference.

When others around you feel like they’ve been heard, it empowers them. Often, though, we are terrible listeners. We think we are great at it, because when someone is starting to explain their perspective to us, we jump in a react with, “Yeah, I totally get it.” We think we are signaling agreement, but often we are telling them to shut up already.

What really frustrates them is that you don’t get it. You don’t understand how they feel. You don’t comprehend the concept they are trying to explain. You say “I get it”, because you want them to think you are quick, smart or in-the-know. That’s about you, not them.

A good listener, like Oprah, frequently admits they need more information. Johnny Carson was famous for reacting to a novel idea by exclaiming, “I did not know that!” You’ll find that if you really try hard to understand others, you’ll not only learn more from them — they will think you are a great conversational partner.

Recommended read: The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey