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You might think you are, but it’s actually a complex skill that needs to be learned, especially in our ever-louder world. It’s worth it – being a ‘good listener’ can boost your relationships, career and quality of life

The ping of our mobile phone, the buzz of our headphones, the hubbub of another busy meeting… it feels like our ears are constantly ‘switched on’ – but how well are we really listening? Research suggests we take in just 25 per cent of what is said to us, and the average couple only spends 20 minutes a week listening to each other.

Not surprisingly, poor listening takes its toll. ‘When we are not heard, we feel hurt, deflated and let down,’ says communications coach Mary Hartley, author of How To Listen: Using Listening Skills ToBuild Better Relationships Through Communication (Kindle Editions, £2.32). ‘Being listened to fosters our sense of self-worth, and lets us know that our thoughts, feelings and ideas are valued.’

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About Healthy Magazine

We’re staying #Hotandhealthy in the August issue of healthy. This issue we’re talking about sex: from the results of our sex survey – and how to stay satisfied between the sheets – to our deliciously satisfying, sexy salads to sustain you while the sun shines. We explore how to put heart into mindfulness, brush up on how to really listen, and ask what’s the best age to live to? We have expert advice on how to look and feel your best, from ethical beauty buys through to help for allergies and strategies for backache. Plus, we examine whether splashing out on exercise gear equals a better workout?