People like to voice their opinions, and people love to talk about themselves, and that's fine as long as people listen to each other.
We talk about ourselves because it's easy, we know ourselves, we're familiar, but often times we don't realize that listening to others actually teaches us more about ourselves and about the person talking.
Actually listening with an open mind and heart will benefit you alot. This is something I don't see often, and I am guilty of it as well, and that is actively listening to the person talking to you, whether its your spouse, your client, your student, child or parent.
It's not easy to stay focused sometimes, our minds drift away, our brains take a break and distractions are everywhere, but an easy tool to keep yourself from drifting is repeating what the person infront of you is saying and actually reflecting on it, this way you stay engaged, you learn something about them, and you learn something about yourself.
I heard about a fight that happened once between two men that ended up with a physical fight, but before it got physical, they were both saying things to each other, and the person that started the fight kept saying things like "No one cares about me", "I will make you feel the way you made me feel", "I don't care anymore" and the other man didn't really understand why this stranger was saying these things to him just because of a stupid fight, but he was in defense mode and just kept jabbing back at him and they ended up fighting and then it broke off and everybody moved on. But few months later, the person that started the fight and was saying these things commited suicide and the other person heard about it on the news and it suddenly clicked to him that the man was facing some major insecurity issues, he was deeply hurt and was breaking down emotionally, it was sort of a cry for help.
This story teaches us to actively listen to what people say to us, and makes us realize that sometimes you are put in weird or unfortunate situations because you are meant to be the help and the tool that will get someone out of a situation or a struggle.