Fools Rush In But Seductive People Listen

Let's look more closely at the dynamics of seductive listening. When someone is sharing a personal story, seductive listeners are truly attentive, and don't immediately jump in with their own story, as if they were your opponent in a storytelling contest. Unfortunately, the latter method describes the way too many people "listen." All too frequently, when people get together and converse, whether in groups or one-on-one, the conversation is weighted with the participants' desire for one-upmanship.

A seductive listener refuses to play the one-upmanship game. Suppose, for example, that you have just related the trials of a recent move. Rather than jump in with an equally or more horrible story about moving, the seductive listener responds with empathy. For instance, what would be an example of a good listener's response to the above quandary? "That must have been very stressful for you, to be starting a new job, and have to move everything you own from New York to Tampa, with only two weeks to get settled. You must be exhausted. I would think that facing a major move like that would be overwhelming. You've come through it with more steam left than I would have had."

Such a response tells you this person has really listened to and empathized with you, and just as importantly, that he or she admires you. This one-two punch is more than most people can absorb without feeling very kindly toward the person who said it.

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