Do You Listen?


Do You Listen?
If you want to have meaningful connection with others, then you need to develop the art of listening

Renowned singer Alanis Morrissette, who is a big proponent of Inner Bonding and a good friend of mine, gave a keynote talk at the 'Emerging Women' conference in Boulder, Colorado in 2013. She invited me to attend and I was delighted to hear her speak. Instead of giving a monologue, she had a dialogue with Tami Simon, the CEO of Sounds True, who interviewed her. The dialogue was about relationships with self, others and God. One of the topics she spoke about was how important it is to her to have connection with people, which she can't do when they don't listen.

Alanis is originally from Canada, and she said that she was so surprised when she first came to L.A. to discover that, unlike in Canada, people rarely listened. She found people talking on and on, and when she did speak up, they often interrupted her to go on and on again. She tried speaking up more, but finally settled on being quiet and then choosing to only be with people who listen — who want a true dialogue, rather than a monologue.


Alanis is a master at listening and dialoguing. She asks great questions, listens attentively, and responds with aliveness and support. She is a true joy to connect with and I love our conversations.

If connection with others is important to you, then you need to cultivate the art of listening.

Are you a good listener or a poor listener?

  • When the other person is talking, do you really hear what they are saying, or are you focused instead on what you want to say?
  •  Do you offer true heartfelt responses to what the other person has just said, letting them know that you really hear them and get them, or do you go off on something about you?
  • Do you ask questions to deepen the conversation with the other person, or do you constantly shift the conversation to whatever it is you want to say?
  • Do you wait until the other person is finished with what they are saying, or do you keep interrupting?
  • Do you maintain eye contact, or do you look around while they are talking?
  • Is your energy accepting and understanding, or are you judgmental in your mind and/or out loud?

Part of the art of listening and cultivating connection is also listening to yourself. If you find yourself feeling bored, it could be that the other person is only interested in talking and not in having a connected dialogue. If you discover that this is true — that they keep going on and on and interrupting you, and are not able to also listen to or hear you — then you might want to find a way to lovingly disengage and then not seek out that person for connected time together.

Like Alanis, I love being with people who are not only good listeners, but who also bring their vitality and aliveness to the conversation. I love being inspired by people, and I’m inspired by people who are connected with themselves and their Guidance so that they can connect with me. Connected people don't need to monopolize the conversation because they don't need to get filled by the other person — they come to the conversation already filled and ready to share their fullness.

If connecting with others is important to you, then practice developing the art of listening — with yourself, with your Guidance and with others. Be discerning regarding who you can have a deeply connected conversation with and who is too disconnected from themselves to connect with you. If you feel lonely or bored with someone, check inside to make sure you are open-hearted and connected with yourself, and if you are, then your loneliness or boredom is letting you know that the other person is not open and present with you. You are not required to care-take them by politely listening while they go on and on! Listen to your feelings and take loving care of yourself.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her new 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Relationships Course: "Loving Relationships: A 30-Day at-Home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul -
For people who are partnered and people who want to be partnered."

To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free! ! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Connect with Margaret on Facebook: Inner Bonding, and Facebook: SelfQuest.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission.

More on Effective Commincation from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul


Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Scream If You're OVER Being Your Partner's Therapist


One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each ... Read more

The Essential Guide To Romance vs Friendship


James, in his mid-30s, was ready to meet his life partner, get married and have children. After dating many women, he met Cindy. "She is really beautiful, although I'm not sure she's my type. But I think she is perfect for me. We have the same interests, the same values, we go to the same church and we both want children. My friends who meet ... Read more

Do You React Well To Irrational Behavior?


Ted's mother was often emotionally irrational. She would demand irrational things from him, such as telling him that it was his job to make her happy. She would cry and yell when he did anything for himself, claiming that he was selfish and making her miserable. Often, she would scream at him out of the blue, for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes she ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular