What makes a good listener?

Nell: Chris is an excellent listener. It’s a shame he lives so far away.

Me: What makes a good listener?

Nell: Good question. David isn’t much of a listener. He’s too impatient. He gets up and walks away while you are still talking.

Me: I know what you mean. We all need to be heard.

Nell: Harriet is very good at listening but sometimes she needs to confide and Chris knows that.

Me: Yes. It’s knowing when to listen.

Nell: Gladys is a surprisingly good listener.

Me: Is she?

Nell: Yes. We often go out together now. Sometimes by accident to be honest, as I don’t always realise she is in my handbag.

Me: Yes.

Nell: Yesterday, for instance, we were in Waterbones looking at books when a portly corgi in a Balmoral bonnet said to her friend: “That lab is talking to its handbag.”

Me: How rude?

Nell: Well, I wasn’t having it. I strolled over and said: “Excuse me, madam, but I think you will find I am talking to a black Pomeranian. Not that it is any of your business.”

Me: What did the corgi say?

Nell: She turned on her paws and left.

Me: Poppy is rubbish at listening.

Nell: Poppy is too busy to listen. She has her paws in far too many pies.

Me: Mutley likes to listen.

Nell: Mutley is deaf. He can’t hear a word you are saying so he usually just nods to keep you happy.

Me: You don’t always listen.

Nell: I think a pot of Earl Grey is needed.

Me: You have selective hearing. You know you do.

Nell: And a few biscuits.

Me: You only hear what suits you.

Nell: Digestive biscuit, or shortbread?

Me: Shortbread.

Nell: Good choice.

Me: You see. You heard me then.

Nell: You are a good listener.

Me: Thank you.

Nell: The only problem is you tend to write things down.

Me: I know I do.

Nell: And then you share it with everybody. So some things are safer shared with Gladys if you know what I mean.

Me: You’re right. Sorry.

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