Are You a Good Listener? How Can You Tell? Take This Quiz To Find Out!
When someone talks to you, do you really listen?
Rate yourself in the following situations and total your score.
a = 3, b = 2, c = 1
1. When someone is telling you something important, you:
a) Nod, smile, and encourage them to continue.
b) Mostly listen, but interject a good bit when you have something to say.
c) Engage them, telling them your opinion as they talk.
2. If someone you don’t like starts talking with you, you:
a) Listen to them, even if you aren’t all that interested in what they have to say.
b) Try to end the conversation quickly.
c) Pretend to listen to them while you’re really spacing out.
3. The biggest mistake you make in conversations is:
a) Not speaking up enough.
b) Changing the subject.
c) Interrupting too much.
4. If someone is telling you something you don’t want to hear, you:
a) Withhold judgment until they are finished.
b) Argue with them about it.
c) Leave so that they are not able to finish.
5. When you’re hanging out with someone
a) They have your full attention.
b) You might check your cellphone occasionally.
c) You are easily distracted.
6. If someone is trying to explain something to you and they’re not doing a good job, you:
a) Say that you don’t quite understand, and ask a couple questions.
b) Jump in and explain it back to them, to see if you are right.
c) Just listen and hope that you’ll figure it out.
7. A few days after you have a conversation with someone, you tend to:
a) Remember all the important details.
b) Remember the general conversation, but maybe not all the details.
c) Remember very little, except what you said.
17 – 21 = You are the perfect person to talk to. You are patient, empathetic, and encouraging. You provide subtle, but important, feedback. You let people say everything that needs to be said before you weigh in.
12 – 16 = You try to be a good listener, and usually you are. But some people are just so boring and difficult to listen to! Your mind tends to wander during some conversations. You are likely to space out a little or try to change the subject to something more interesting.
7 – 11 = Let’s be honest, what you really get out of conversations is listening to yourself talk. But listening to other people? Not so much! And while you may be much more interesting than the people you talk to, it wouldn’t hurt to show some interest. People will stop listening to you once they figure out you’re not listening to them.
See more: 10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself From Overthinking
Here are 10 simple ideas to help overthinkers stop spinning their wheels.
Overthinking doesn’t sound so bad on the surface–thinking is good, right?
But overthinking can cause problems.
When you overthink, your judgments get cloudy and your stress gets elevated. You spend too much time in the negative. It can become difficult to act.
If this feels like familiar territory to you, here are 10 simple ideas to free yourself from overthinking.
1. AWARENESS IS THE BEGINNING OF CHANGE
Before you can begin to address or cope with your habit of overthinking, you need to learn to be aware of it when it’s happening. Any time you find yourself doubting or feeling stressed or anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you’re responding. In that moment of awareness is the seed of the change you want to make.
2. DON’T THINK OF WHAT CAN GO WRONG, BUT WHAT CAN GO RIGHT
In many cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion: fear. When you focus on all the negative things that might happen, it’s easy to become paralyzed. Next time you sense that you starting to spiral in that direction, stop. Visualize all the things that can go right and keep those thoughts present and up front.
3. DISTRACT YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a way to distract yourself with happy, positive, healthy alternatives. Things like mediation, dancing, exercise, learning an instrument, knitting, drawing, and painting can distance you from the issues enough to shut down the overanalysis.
4. PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE
It’s always easy to make things bigger and more negative than they need to be. The next time you catch yourself making a mountain out of a molehill, ask yourself how much it will matter in five years. Or, for that matter, next month. Just this simple question, changing up the time frame, can help shut down overthinking.
5. STOP WAITING FOR PERFECTION
This is a big one. For all of us who are waiting for perfection, we can stop waiting right now. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic, impractical, and debilitating. The moment you start thinking “This needs to be perfect” is the moment you need to remind yourself, “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”
6. CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF FEAR
Whether you’re afraid because you’ve failed in the past, or you’re fearful of trying or overgeneralizing some other failure, remember that just because things did not work out before does not mean that has to be the outcome every time. Remember, every opportunity is a new beginning, a place to start again.
7. PUT A TIMER TO WORK
Give yourself a boundary. Set a timer for five minutes and give yourself that time to think, worry, and analyze. Once the timer goes off, spend 10 minutes with a pen and paper, writing down all the things that are worrying you, stressing you, or giving you anxiety. Let it rip. When the 10 minutes is up, throw the paper out and move on–preferably to something fun.
8. REALIZE YOU CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE
No one can predict the future; all we have is now. If you spend the present moment worrying about the future, you are robbing yourself of your time now. Spending time on the future is simply not productive. Spend that time instead on things that give you joy.
9. ACCEPT YOUR BEST
The fear that grounds overthinking is often based in feeling that you aren’t good enough–not smart enough or hardworking enough or dedicated enough. Once you’ve given an effort your best, accept it as such and know that, while success may depend in part on some things you can’t control, you’ve done what you could do.
10. BE GRATEFUL
You can’t have a regretful thought and a grateful thought at the same time, so why not spend the time positively? Every morning and every evening, make a list of what you are grateful for. Get a gratitude buddy and exchange lists so you have a witness to the good things that are around you.
Overthinking is something that can happen to anyone. But if you have a great system for dealing with it you can at least ward off some of the negative, anxious, stressful thinking and turn it into something useful, productive, and effective.
Older People Share Early Warning Signs of Trouble That Younger People Don’t Know About
2/32 Girls, if you have sex with a guy for the first time and fake it, it will never ever change.
3/32 Never, ever, in a fight with your S/O, EVER use something they’ve told you in confidence OR their biggest vulnerability against them in a fight. EVER.
It is a nuke. It can not be undone. It will erode the trust in your relationship by the first breath after being said, even if it doesn’t kill the relationship instantly.
4/32 This one was difficult for me to learn, and painful to have to undo the damage: Bills.
If you receive a bill, open it right away, look at it, have an idea of what you owe, and then pay it at a set time every month (or right away).
NEVER let bills go unopened. I know I’m not the only one who ever did this, but I knew I was broke ‘right now’ so I let the bills pile up without looking at them. That earned me some late fees and put me in collections a couple times. Meanwhile I was going to see movies or buying drinks etc. It literally took 7 years to finally get the collections off my credit report.
5/32 Interruptions are a part of conversation, but if more of your sentences end with interruptions than periods, there might be a serious problem.
Also, in the other direction, try not to interrupt. Listen.
6/32 In terms of a relationship, criticism. Too many people don’t know the difference between airing your grievances in a healthy way and being critical in a negative sense.
For example, “I would appreciate it if we could trade off nights on who does the cooking,” or “I think that shirt might be better for another occasion,” are fair criticisms. Saying “You never cook, I’m not your mother,” or “You don’t even try to dress up, you look sloppy!” is not productive and creates resentment. Good criticism always presents a solution or an opportunity to compromise. Bad criticism belittles the other person and shuts them down.
No one likes thinking the person they love thinks very little of them. It hurts and destroys people’s self-esteem, and that’s hard to get back once it’s gone.
7/32 If someone wants to break up with you – let them.
8/32 If you find yourself always having to make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family, it’s a warning that your partner is probably no good for you.
9/32 It’s not really a warning sign, but make sure you maintain hobbies and friends outside of a relationship. The warning sign would be if your significant other is trying to isolate you from these things.
10/32 If you feel unhappy because you are being stretched too thin and have no time for yourself, that’s a sign that you need to practice saying “no” to things.
11/32 Young girls – if he is a [jerk] to everyone except you. You are not a special butterfly that can bring out the good in him. It just hasn’t been your turn yet. Wait.
12/32 If your managers’ managers ask you to account for how you spend all your time, or list all the tasks you do in your job, they are probably looking to restructure your department and there will likely be layoffs. Get your resume together and start looking immediately.
13/32 Boredom at your job is a big red flag that you shouldn’t ignore. Don’t buy into the common saying that “everyone hates their job” or “your job isn’t supposed to be fun.” That’s hogwash. Your job won’t be fun all the time, this is true. You will have times where you will do grunt work and tedious things that you wish someone else would do (and possibly can if you get high enough in a company).
My warning to you is if you feel bored and unhappy ALL the time. If there is nothing in the job that is fulfilling you might find that negativity spilling over into your work and that is something you don’t want to have. Your work matters, customers depend on it even if you don’t quite see it. So if it’s not working out come up with a plan to make things better while at the same time not burning any bridges at your current job.
14/32 If your partner often accuses you of cheating, when you know you most certainly are not cheating, it just might be possible that your partner is cheating. If you try to ask your partner if they are cheating and they become instantly angry and make you feel bad for asking the question, it just might be possible that you partner is cheating on you. But the most important thing is not to waste your life trying to stay with the wrog person for you. It’s okay to break up, if you’ve identified that you’re not a good fit. Moving on hurts, but you owe it to your future self and your TRUE soulmate, who’s out there somewhere, to keep looking. Hope that helps.
15/32 That moment when you decide to make just the minimum payment on your credit card. I didn’t think it was a big deal at first, but it didn’t take long for that nearly 30% interest to add up and the debt to become crushing.
16/32 When two dogs meet, if one puts his head over the other one’s shoulder, it’s likely that there’s going to be a fight.
17/32 If you say ‘No,’ and their response is, ‘You’d do it if you really loved me’ — WATCH OUT. That sort of emotional manipulation is usually a bad sign.
18/32 If you lose contact with good friends because they don’t keep in touch with you or make the effort, chances are they’re thinking the same of you.
19/32 If the first thing you find yourself doing at a party is grabbing a drink as soon as you can, before even really saying hi to friends, or if you start to feel anxious when you’re socializing with friends and there’s no alcohol (or no drink in your hand yet) you might want to take a look at your relationship with the booze.
20/32 If you go on an interview, and something just does not “feel” right, listen to your gut. Don’t chalk it up to your own nerves. You are picking up on something that is probably a problem with the job/company, but can’t fully articulate what it is.
21/32 If your company suddenly gets really excited about “cross-training” people, and asks you to do an abnormal amount of “tidying up your workspace” there are about to be layoffs.
22/32 The hardest lesson I’ve learned in life is how to recognize that a relationship is failing and let it go.
There are a number of warning signs that I missed. We didn’t laugh as much when we hung out. We didn’t spend as much time together. We fought…a lot. She seemed to care a lot less about the things I thought were important, and frankly I probably stopped caring too much about the priorities in her life.
All of this seems incredibly obvious in hindsight, but at the time it was all mixed up with a lot of really complicated emotions. We had been together for over 4 years at that point. Due to the circumstances of our relationship, I had to make a lot of sacrifices at the beginning stages that I felt on some level I was “owed” to be emotionally reimbursed for (yes, I realize this is another huge red flag).
One of the worst things you can do is carry on in a relationship with someone (romantic or even just a friendship) when it’s not working. Ultimately, believe me, both parties will be happier without the relationship dragging both people down.
23/32 I will say that once you start finding yourself say “yes” when you want to say “no,” get used to a life without getting your needs met.
24/32 Getting into the negativity habit. It’s always someone else’s fault. Blaming others for any little thing that goes wrong. Eventually you start to look for opportunities to be offended and proven right. To the point where someone does something nice for you and you ruin it by trying to figure out their angle.
Yes, some people will screw you over and some are rude and will take advantage of you. But most people are just neutral trying to live their life and a lot of people are terrific. Now if someone is rude, I just think, they must be having a bad day and let it go.
25/32 Contracts… If a contract is confusing, doesnt make sense and is difficult to understand, theres a reason for that. You’re not supposed to understand it, they want you to sign it on faith. Dont do this. This was a major cause of the housing bubble. Balloon loans etc…
Do this instead. Cross out lines of the contact that dont make sense and initial them. Circle whole sections and note “I dont understand or agree with this” and initial it. If the person wanting the signature says that just means… and it doesnt sound bad verbally, you say: “Okay but you may not be around to explain that to someone in court, that needs to be in writing in the contract.” They dont want to rewrite it, they just want you to sign so things run smooth. Many times they dont know whats in the contract themselves, they just want it signed and if you make your changes most likely theyll bury it in the file and forget about it while you remain legally safe. Also get a copy with your modifications. In most cases youll impress them.
26/32 Cigarettes. The enjoyment (if there is any) will only be in the initial phase and after that it’s just a compulsive behaviour. I wasn’t even enjoying it and spent thousands of dollars on [it]. Finally made me gasp for breath at times. 207 days since I quit after multiple attempts. Better you don’t go through this struggle.
27/32 If you are getting older and you have what looks like a pimple that isn’t going away, or anything new on your skin that doesn’t look quite right, see a dermatologist.
Those small lesions don’t hurt and you might not think they are that big of a deal. Go in. Basal cell skin cancer surgery can be extensive. We’ve also lost several friends to squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma.
Put sunscreen especially around your ears and neck. People forget those areas- it seems a trivial thing to do, day after day when you’re younger, but future you will be so much better off.
28/32 In your personal life, if you start to feel really anxious or insecure with someone you’re dating–treat it as a warning. With the caveat that you’re not an immature/jealous person, those feelings can be a red flag that the person you’re with isn’t meeting your needs or that something else is amiss.
29/32 People don’t really change that much, except in extreme circumstances. Don’t hang around/marry/work for someone who’s ok but has some personality issues you really don’t like, because you think ‘they might change’ or ‘with my help, they’ll change.’
Go in with the mindset that ‘this is the person, as they are and probably will always be.’ If their flaws (sometimes, it’s only one flaw, like abusive or aggressive behavior) currently outweigh their good qualities, it’s best to drop that person now and not spend months or years or a lifetime in waiting misery.
30/32 This one is for young women. Never, ever let a man take care of you. Get an education, get your career rolling, and keep your job no matter what. If you allow yourself to become reliant on a man you set yourself up as feeling not only owned, but as owing. You’re also less able to bolt when things go south. Always have that option of impending freedom.
31/32 If you ever find yourself in an existential, career related or love related (or any other kind of) crisis; only take advice from people who want you to succeed.
If you ever get two conflicting pieces of advice, don’t bother figuring out who’s “right”. Instead apply the same thought: “Which one of these people want me to succeed?”
32/32 If you want to move up in your company, you have to let your boss know you’re interested.
Don’t be afraid to let your boss know you’re interested in a higher position. However, don’t demand or ask for it. Don’t tell them you’ve been doing a good job and working hard. Just let them know you’re interested in learning new skills and taking on more responsibility and don’t want to stagnate.
This is especially true for retail/restaurant work. The reason the other bus boy got trained to be a server or bartender and you didn’t is because he let the bosses know he wanted to move up.