One person talks; the other listens. It's so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 125,000 readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. Experienced therapist Mike Nichols provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques, and practical exercises for becoming a better listener--and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.
Michael P. Nichols, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, is the author of Stop Arguing with Your Kids, among numerous other books. He is a well-known therapist and a popular speaker.
Introduction I. The Yearning to Be Understood 1. "Did You Hear What I Said?": Why Listening Is So Important 2. "Thanks for Listening": How Listening Shapes Us and Connects Us to Each Other 3. "Why Don't People Listen?": How Communication Breaks Down II. The Real Reasons People Don't Listen 4. "When Is It My Turn?"?The Heart of Listening: The Struggle to Suspend Our Own Needs 5. "You Hear Only What You Want to Hear": How Hidden Assumptions Prejudice Listening 6. "Why Do You Always Overreact?!": How Emotionality Makes Us Defensive III. Getting Through to Each Other 7. "Take Your Time?I'm Listening": How to Let Go of Your Own Needs and Listen 8. "I Never Knew You Felt That Way": Empathy Begins with Openness 9. "I Can See This Is Really Upsetting You": How to Defuse Emotional Reactivity IV. Listening in Context 10. "We Never Talk Anymore": Listening Between Intimate Partners 11. "Nobody around Here Ever Listens to Me!": How to Listen and Be Heard within the Family 12. From "Do I Have To?" to "That's Not Fair!": Listening to Children and Teenagers 13. "I Knew You'd Understand": Being Able to Hear Friends and Colleagues Epilogue