How to Talk So People Will Listen


“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.”
~Franklin P. Jones

My dog Sam has one ear that sticks out.

Even though it looks like he is listening intently, he only seems to hear what he wants to hear. Words like, “Get out of the kitchen” go unnoticed, while “Go get your bone” gets an immediate reaction. It’s mostly when I talk to him in an angry voice that he really pays attention.

You’ve got something to say. Something important and even profound. But no one is listening.You repeat yourself over and over, hoping your words will sink in. But really, you are fulfilling the definition of insanity by continuing to do something that doesn’t work.


At the risk of revealing my own deep longing to be heard, I’d like to share a few tried and true ways to get your message across–without the insanity!

Take a look:

Timing is Everything:

I once asked my husband when it would be the best time to talk about important matters. He told me that bedtime would be a good time to discuss things.

Well, that was a fail.

After several attempts to share my profound ideas on solving the world’s problems, (only to be met with snoring), I realized that bedtime was NOT the best time to be heard.

We need to be intentional about communicating.

Don’t cry wolf.

Being overly dramatic or constantly in crisis mode are sure ways to get tuned out. No one wants to listen to a perpetually distraught, everything-is-crumbling type person.

Pick and choose what to say and when to say it. Frankly, some things are better left unsaid!

We don’t need to be all mysterious by gravely saying, “We need to talk.”

Instead, it can be as simple as saying, “Sit next to me for a minute. Let’s have a cup of coffee and chat.”

The more direct we are, without the drama, the better.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Are you giving mixed messages by not being clear? Perhaps, you are feeling insecure and are trying to minimize what you really mean.


Simply communicate clearly in a calm and precise manner. You can’t control how the other person will respond, (darn), but you can say what you mean and mean what you say.

Works wonders!

Rinse and Repeat.

That’s right. I am actually telling you to repeat yourself. However, if your words aren’t heard the first time, stop and think about how to rephrase it. (yelling not included)

Here comes the hard part…after you’ve repeated your point, you might have to let it go.


Remember the cycle of insanity? Let. it. go.

Listen more than you speak.

Why would anyone listen to us if we aren’t willing to listen to them?

Sometimes, communicating well means listening well. In fact, when we give our full, undivided attention, trust is developed. And when that security is established others will start to value what we have to say.

Just sayin…

Do what ya say ya will.

Follow-through is extremely important in getting others to take us seriously. When we actually do what we say when we say we’ll do it, people will be more likely to listen to us the next time around.

Honestly, this one is the most difficult for me. I tend to minimize the commitment and slack off, thinking the other person won’t notice.

Not the best way to build trust.

Listen, (no pun intended), everyone desires to be heard. Whether you’re a wife wanting your husband to stop snoring long enough to hear your brilliant ideas, or a mom trying to get your kid to understand why they can’t wear a turtleneck with their swimsuit to a restaurant, WE WANT TO BE HEARD!

So, which one of these tips will you implement first? Which one will be the most difficult? Share your thoughts in the comments below or send me an email. I promise to listen. 😉

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I look forward to connecting with you.

Always an email away,


2 Responses

  1. Dawna Hetzler
    | Reply

    Love that boy Sam! What a face. Yes, truly being heard is essential to healing.

      | Reply

      Thanks, Dawna!
      Been on vacation so I just saw this. Hope you are doing well!

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