“You’re so easy to talk to” is the most common compliment I hear from people. I always found the comment strange because I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary on purpose.
I started paying attention to what I did versus what others did. This is what I found that I did differently from most, and what you can do:
Keep the conversation on them
When I talk, I expect to get through my entire story. However, I’ve noticed that people tend to interrupt to share their own relatable stories halfway through. They expect you to keep talking about it and forget yours.
Humans love to talk about themselves and share their stories. When someone is talking to you about something they’re going through, don’t interrupt and make the conversation about you.
If you do share a story to empathize or show you can relate, tie it back to them at the end. Don’t steer the conversation toward yourself or make them feel forgotten.
Never stop saying “mhm”
It’s easy to tell when someone’s blanked out of a conversation. They don’t nod, hum, and their eyes glaze over. Listening is about more than just hearing — you want to show you’re listening.
Entrepreneur suggests listening with your whole self. They shared, “Maintain eye contact without staring or glaring. Concentrate on the speaker and lean slightly forward to communicate that you are open to what is being said. Nod, smile, or ask a relevant question if you need clarification. This way, you send a nonverbal message that you are “in the moment” and fully involved in the conversation.”
Don’t offer advice if they didn’t ask for it
When you offer unsolicited advice, you don’t come off as helpful but rather high and mighty. Unless someone asks you for advice, don’t give it.
I found that in the moments I simply wanted to vent to a friend, and they offered advice, it would irk me. Even if I knew they were coming from the right place, it made me feel like an idiot.
Inc. advises, “If you want to give unsolicited advice, politely ask permission (e.g., “May I offer a tip for…?”).”
Never judge them
I’ve made the mistake of making a face when someone says something I think was either stupid or wrong. The person will stop talking automatically and asks, “What?” before a fight ensues.
When someone opens up to you, it’s because they trust you. Don’t ruin that trust by jumping in with judgment. In these situations, your opinion can’t matter.
You don’t have to agree with this person. Your job is to listen and remain unbiased. They want to be heard, so give them that.