Book Review: Just Listen by Mark Goulston

Book Genre: Non-Fiction Psychology


From Amazon

Do you ever feel like you’re talking to a brick wall? The first step in persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. But whether the person is a cynical colleague, furious customer, or overwhelmed spouse, their emotional barriers may be blocking your message. And if you can’t break through, you can’t move forward. “Just Listen” has helped tens of thousands of people tear down walls and establish productive communication.


I’ve just completed listening to Just Listen for the 4th time.

Though this book’s target audience is adults, I’ve found the advice in this book enormously helpful and applicable as a teenager.

I’ve broken up fights and persuaded my little sisters to do their chores by making them feel felt, because they often feel overlooked, and using the Side-By-Side technique.

I’ve gotten my Dad to calm down and empathize with me.

I’ve helped a friend through a break up. Afterwards, this is what he texted me: “I should come to you more often for stuff like this tbh because you seem very aware of the situation and how to at least approach me about it which I feel like no one else really has so I appreciate that greatly. I’ll try to come to you more for stuff from this because I actually feel a little bit happier from this talk.”

I’ve used to “Never Again” tool to prevent myself from repeating mistakes, such as: speaking when I’m too emotionally charged (mouthing off to my parents…), lifting too much weight while trying to compare myself to a sixteen year-old boy, not texting guys too late at night, and getting to bed earlier instead of staying up late to plan.

And I’ve used the “Be Interested, Not Interesting” rule for the past several years with enormous success. I tried this with my hair stylist, and afterwards he told my mom, “She is the most well-mannered young lady I have ever met. I’ll be happy if my son is half as nice as she is.” This technique is probably the one I’ve had the most experience using. I always learn something interesting while drawing the other person into the conversation.

It’s amazing what just listening can accomplish. I’ve learned all of the techniques above and more thanks to this audio book.

Which is why I owe a huge thank you to the author, Mark Goulston, for delivering this information clearly with practical applications, peppering the book with stories that are not only entertaining, but prove these techniques work, and for revolutionizing how I interact with others.


Buy Just Listen


What’s your biggest struggle when interacting and communicating with other people? Which tools from Just Listen do you think you’d use?

Recent Comments

  • (screams) Its her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    August 20, 2016 - 7:49 pm · Reply

    OHHHH LIZ… such a bad girl……”speaking when I’m too emotionally charged (mouthing off to my parents…), lifting too much weight while trying to compare myself to a sixteen year-old boy, not texting guys too late at night, and getting to bed earlier instead of staying up late to plan.” -your quote

    Thank you so much for this post!
    Sounds like a great book, with apparent results!
    Will look into it when school load lightens.
    My biggest struggle is “everything”
    I feel so awkward when I communicate XD
    I have such a complex of talking to people and friends, and I overthink everything also.
    both of the tools you say make sense and hopefully I’ll brush myself on them. Thanks I’ve been for a book like this 🙂

    • Elizabeth Newsom
      August 22, 2016 - 1:13 pm · Reply

      I know 😉

      My pleasure! Glad you liked it, and hopefully, if you find time to read this, it’ll help you. If you decide to buy it, tell me how it is!

      You do just fine at communicating, you know 😉 You have a very sweet personality, and you’re easy to talk to.

  • (screams) Its her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    August 22, 2016 - 4:44 pm · Reply

    Sure i’ll let you know:) Why thank youuuuuuu XD your sweet & encouraging too(notice that? I one-uped you) Cant wait for the next post!

  • Hannah
    August 22, 2016 - 7:44 pm · Reply

    This sounds like an incredible book! I will certainly have to check it out. Communicating is not my strong suit, so I am sure this will help. “Be interested, not interesting” sounds most useful to me… I am guessing it means ask the other person questions instead of talking about yourself? If so, I have been trying this for a while now. It seems to work pretty well with most people. Unfortunately, since often I am not particularly interested in what they are saying and am just trying to break the ice and put them at ease, it feels like a “fake it ’till you make it” scenario.

    Thank you for recommending this book!

    • Elizabeth Newsom
      September 3, 2016 - 9:36 pm · Reply

      Thank you! It’s definitely one of my core books, and it’s made a huge impact on my life, as you can see above.
      Yes, that’s precisely what it means. It gives you some tips to get better at that.
      My pleasure 😉

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