Why should we listen to other people?
- Other people can bring aspects to the table that you would never ever have thought of. We get a chance to collect more information so that we can make a better decision.
- When you listen to others, they will probably be willing to listen to you as well.
- If you listen to others before you talk to them, you can check your own viewpoint, take into account what they say and adjust what you will tell them.
- When you involve others in your decisions, then you can bring everybody into the same boat, and it will be easier for you to get support.
- Listening to others can keep you from making unnecessary mistakes that you will regret later.
- Communication is a basic need that will prevent us from being lost in isolation.
- Just talking to other people and listening to their ideas makes us creative and inspires us to have our own ideas and suggestions.
- Listening to the stories, opinions and viewpoints of others gives us a chance to expand our radius.
- When you listen to different people, these people get the opportunity to share their knowledge, talents and experience with you. They get a chance to contribute to our world, and might give you such a chance as well.
However, asking who you should listen to is as important as finding the reasons why you should listen to others. Choose the people that you listen to wisely, since they can push you forward, but they can also restrain you from living your greatest life.
Who should we listen to?
- Friends, because they help us believe in ourselves, and they support us in becoming successful
- Experts who have insights about a topic that we would never have dreamed of, if they are excellent at what they are doing
- Ordinary people who have the information that we are looking for
- Supportive old people, since they have so much life experience - nothing can compete with the decades of experience that they have collected
- People who don't benefit from one of your possible decisions, and who are unbiased
Please notice that I don't recommend to listen to everybody, and that I don't suggest to follow every piece of advice that you will ever get. Obviously, we shouldn't listen to others in every situation.
When should you NOT listen to someone else?
- When the other person doesn't want what is best for you or is biased or prejudiced.
- When your ideas are so young and fresh that they won't survive criticism, and it is likely that the other person will criticize you.
- When you recognize that the other person suggests something that is illegal, untrue, disrespectful, or not a matter of integrity.
- When there is no need for the advice of others.
- When your stomach tells you that there is something wrong with the other person or her/his advice, whether you can or cannot figure out what it is.
- When you know that you cannot trust someone from incidents in the past, especially when you and the other person haven't dealt with these incidents yet.
- When you are sure that you will make the right decision without any further advice.
This month, I suggest that you check your own life according to:
1) How do you choose people that you ask for advice?
2) Are the people that you ask for advice unbiased and do they want what is best for you instead of just pretending to do so?
3) Consider your past and find out in which situations the advice of others has helped you to make a better decision.
Start listening to the opinions of others, but distinguish between your own viewpoint and theirs. Leave them where they are, and allow yourself to be who you are.