The Body Can Listen, Too

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• Use mirroring, paraphrasing, or reflecting to show active listening.

• Body language can be empathic too, and when your body mirrors another person’s, this is a way to show physical “active listening” of the body.

• To show that your body is listening, face the person, make comfortable eye contact, and seek to concur with “yeses” or head nods. Then mirror their words, voice, posture, or other idiosyncrasies.

• When mirroring, be mindful of the gender or cultural context, and only reflect what is positive. Avoid mirroring strong negative emotions (panic, anger, depression) and instead model a sense of calm by slowing down and taking a deep breath; the other person may then mirror you.

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