12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 9

Having the full attention of another human being can cause the speaker to feel valued, comforted, and supported . However, sometimes it can be more profitable to be a listener than a speaker. Although the act of listening can be extremely difficult at times, it creates an essential  relationship between thinking and reasoning. As Peterson says, “True thinking is complex and demanding. It requires you to be an articulate speaker and careful, judicious listener, at the same time. It involves conflict. So you have to tolerate conflict. The conflict involves negotiation and compromise. So you have to learn to give and take and to modify your premises and adjust your thoughts – even your perceptions of the world.” As all these processes take place, the listener is in a position to potentially develop new perspectives. Listening to other people does not mean one should abandon their personal convictions, beliefs, and values. Rather, one should take the ideas of other people into consideration and embrace them in a way that will help their individual development.


A real, heart to experience, yet it is the best kind of communication that an individual can desire. This engagement provides individuals with opportunities to adopt useful life lessons by engaging with other people. However, this interaction can be rare as many people can be distracted or discouraged from these interactions because of a wide range of factors. One of the primary issues that prevent these kind of connections to grow, or even to exist, is that many people have tunnel vision. In not being open to other perspective different than their own, individuals close the door on alternative knowledge.  People who choose not to listen, often do not learn as they are no longer in the continuous process of searching for knowledge.

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