Ing your full attention to whatever the speaker is

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ing your full attention to whatever the speaker is saying without interrupting or making judgments. Figure 10.3 illustrates some ways of becoming a more active listener. active listening “I” message Aggressive Messages (What not to say) “You idiot! You took my favorite jacket and got paint all over it! You ruined it, and you’ll have to pay for it.” “Why are you always late? It’s really annoying.” “Why do you always have to get what you want? You never do what I suggest.” Assertive “I” Messages (What to say) “I’m upset that my favorite jacket was borrowed without my knowledge.” “I worry about you when you don’t show up.” “I’ll agree to have Mexican food today if I can pick the restaurant the next time we go out.” S TATING Y OUR F EELINGS E FFECTIVELY Compare the messages and the probable results of these scenes.
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TECHNIQUES FOR ACTIVE LISTENING Being a good listener is important to healthy relationships. When you listen to others, you show them that you care about what they have to say and how they feel. Active listeners use several techniques to show others that they are listening. These techniques include: Reflective listening. In reflective listening, you rephrase or summarize what the other person has said. This allows you to be sure you have understood what was intended. Clarifying. Clarifying involves asking the speaker what he or she thinks or how he or she feels about the situation being discussed. It also involves asking questions to help you understand more fully what is being said. Encouraging. You encourage the speaker when you signal that you are interested and involved. You can show your interest by nodding your head or saying “I see,” “Uh-huh,” or “I understand.” Empathizing. When you have empathy, you are able to imagine and understand how someone else feels. Empathizing is feeling what the other person feels as you listen. For example, if a friend tells you how disappointed he was when he didn’t make the baseball team, you are likely to share his disappointment. Keep in mind that sometimes empathy is not appropriate, such as when what the person is saying goes against your values. empathy For more informa- tion on empathy, see Chapter 7, page 186. T IPS FOR A CTIVE L ISTENING Practicing active listening skills can improve your relationships. Make direct eye contact. Use body language, such as leaning in toward the speaker, that shows you are listening and giving your full attention. Use signals, such as nodding, to show that you are involved and interested. Don’t interrupt the speaker. Put away prejudices, images, or assumptions that you have of the other person so you can focus on what he or she is saying. 257 Lesson 2 Communicating Effectively HS_HEALTH_U04_C10_L2 12/6/03 9:18 AM Page 257
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Demonstrating Empathy One way to be a good friend is to express empathy. Here are some tips: Maintain eye contact as you listen.
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