You can achieve more by listening well than by talking a lot

If you want to learn from someone else, you should mainly keep your mouth shut during a conversation and listen attentively. Also by asking your conversation partner interesting questions, keeping the discussion going, and also listening carefully between the lines. If you have learned a lot in this way, you can then come up with a good proposal that the other person cannot say no to. So by first listening carefully to the other person you will reach your goal faster.

To communicate

We communicate not only through words, but also through gestures, intonation, facial expressions and other non-verbal signals. In practice, non-verbal signals are often even more telling than words. Because if we say with a dirty face that the food tastes delicious, those words take on a completely different meaning. That is why it is so difficult to communicate well via e-mail, Facebook, chat, etc. Because in an e-mail (but also a telephone conversation) only words remain. Which we try to compensate somewhat by adding emoticons, which should take over the function of the facial expression.

Listening is difficult

But of course words are still an important indispensable factor in conveying thoughts, information and feelings. But then there must be interested listeners, otherwise it would be better to keep our mouths shut. It is often forgotten that communication is not a one-way street, but that a full-fledged conversation is primarily about exchanging each other’s points of view, insights and thoughts. So on average we should keep our mouths shut and listen attentively at least 50% of the time.

Letting the other person talk is the trick

Especially in professions where you would not expect it, listening and asking questions is more important than talking. A good salesperson will only start his sales story after he has first obtained as much necessary information as possible from the potential buyer. So what does the customer actually want, what price is he willing to pay, who are the competitors, etc. But even a seasoned buyer will not be too quick to reveal the back of his tongue, because from the position of buyer it is also the art is to learn a lot about the other person. So to what level would the seller be willing to drop the price, how much interest does he have in reaching a deal?

The above random example of course applies not only in commerce , but also in politics, between colleagues, with neighbors who are trying to reach an agreement, etc. If you are wise, you let someone else talk by asking him/her a lot of questions. and strike at the right time with a suitable proposal to which the other party can hardly say no, because it is precisely tailored to his situation, which is possible because you listened instead of talking.

When to talk

The basic need to vent and share experiences comes very soon after the basic needs of hunger, thirst and sex have been met. Once our stomach is full, we want an attentive ear for our other problems, fears, worries, etc. And it is not easy to experience great things on a world trip that we cannot share with someone else. So if we make a long journey all alone, we try to compensate for the lack of a companion by making an extensive travel report and/or film, so that we can tell about our adventures at least after the unforgettable event.


When we are often alone due to old age, immobility or lack of loved ones, it is not easy to find an outlet or attentive listener for our fears, problems, worries or everyday experiences. Professional emergency services can often offer a solution, such as the telephone assistance service De Luisterlijn, which can be consulted at an acceptable telephone rate by anyone who wants to share a problem, concern or unpleasant experience with an interested listener. Such an anonymous telephone conversation with someone often not only provides relief, but also leads to different insights or provides a more objective view of a difficult situation.

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