Communication – Lisenting

Below is a short little paper that I wrote for one of my communication classes that I wanted to share.


When I think of a good listener I instantly thought of my sister. It has steadily become a routine of us eating sweets and talking about our days, every weeknight at midnight. The most dramatic story gets told first and then we move of to little moment that happened throughout the day. She honestly is my favorite person to talk to, and I think it’s because we have nearly the same nonverbals, and I really feel like she is listening to me.

The kind of proxemics that my sister uses when she is listening to me changes from the personal/friends space, to more intimate space. Proxemics is defined as the use of space a listener or speaker uses. As the conversation gets a little more dramatic, I can tell she gets closer, makes eye more contact than before. At this point I feel like she is listening to me fully.

The kinesic behavior in my sister is very obvious, as so am I. Kinesics refers to a communicators use of body movement. This includes the posture, use of gestures, and behaviors like walking or leaning. She sits with legs crossed over one another, leaning into the chair but shoulders are kept high. I know I do the same to straighten myself up and to seriously not doze off while the person is talking. So I see the same in her. I can tell from that posture and movement that she is interested, and comfortable. Another reason I love talking to my sister is because her facial expressions are always of point. When I talk about a prank that happened at work she’ll smile, or silent laugh. When i talk about something I was confused about something at work, she’ll also have a confused face, and this is all her just listening to me. It really helps me feel like she hears me, and not just pretending or doesn’t care.

My sister demonstrates support about what I am talking about is noticeable by two things. She makes really good eye contact or oculesics. Comparing to my boyfriend, he does not make eye contact with me when I speak and I keep talking even more because I feel like he’s just not getting what I’m saying. But the eye contact from anyone, including my sister, reassures me that what i say is important and that you’re following all of it. Also my sister demonstrates support to what I say by the causal nodding her head, or shaking it. It lets me know, without her interrupting, that she either agrees or disagrees with me.

One things that my sister does not do that we learned is paraphrase or ask questions when I speak. It’s something that I always do, but she just doesn’t verbally react. That’s my only concern that would make her considered not a good listener to other people. She uses silence, and says nothing during or after what I have to say but jumps into her own separate story.

Overall, I feel I was right in saying my sister is a good listener. I love conversing with her, and this is because of her proxemics, kinesic behavior like body posture and facial expressions, oculesics, and nodding of the head.


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