Listening Strengthens Self-Esteem-4 Ways

Listening Builds Self-Esteem

by Dorothy Wehunt

Statistics shows that one of the best ways to build self-esteem is through listening. So how does listening build self-esteem?

Listening and feeling worthwhile

Listening says, “You are a human being and you have something worthwhile to say.” Thus, you are making the statement, “You are a worthwhile person.” And “You’re fine the way you are.”

Importance and Respect

Do you feel important when a person takes the time to listen to you? Listening makes a person feel important.  Would you say generally, that you “notice” or give attention to the things that are important to you?  When you listen with attention to what a person is saying, you are paying that person a compliment.  You are showing interest in him and you are recognizing his importance.  Only a little attention is necessary to show acceptance.

When people use body language to show they are paying attention to what you say, do you feel even more important? Or when they ask questions to show they want to understand what you are saying? Or make comments to show they do understand where you are coming from? Thus, you feel more respected, don’t you?

Bryant McGill said, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” (Awaken the Greatness Within, 2015-2020, Accessed January 23, 2021. 35 Inspirational Quotes On Listening | AwakenTheGreatnessWithin.)

If we are willing to listen to others, more than likely, they will reciprocate. As we listen to another, we show him respect and value. Thus, we help him to build self-esteem. Doesn’t this also make us important and give us value? When they return the favor, they give us respect and value. Thus, they help us to build, or have greater, self-esteem.

Listening to understand

Ralph Nichols said, “The most basic of all needs is to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” (Ibid.)

 If you listen to another’s opinion, whether you agree or not, you show a willingness to understand. As one listens, stepping into the other person’s shoes allows one to see things from his point of view. It says, “I’m willing to understand.”

Listening for understanding can thwart judgment and criticism. Thus, the listener can see where the other person is coming from. Or the basis of his perception. Thus, he is listening to know who a person is. It says, “I accept you for who you are.” Moreover, listening without judgment or criticism shows the person he has the right to be who he is. Thus, listening builds self-esteem, doesn’t it?


At the same time, as a person expresses his view, he gains clarity and self-awareness. Self-awareness promotes self-understanding to know himself better.  


Do you feel better about yourself in certain situations? Or when you are around some people more than others? Does your “self-image’ or the way you think about yourself vary according to the situation? Or according to the people you are around?

Thus, listen to others and make yourself important as you make them important. As they reciprocate and listen to you, you feel important as they become important. Then, listening becomes win-win either way for each of you.

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©Dorothy Wehunt and 2021.