Book Review: You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy // listening as a response to loneliness

Title: You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters

Author: Kate Murphy

Published: January 7, 2020

Pages: 278

Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self Help

Book Depository / Goodreads


How often during conversations do you find yourself thinking that someone isn’t listening to you? How often do you find that you’re not listening?

In You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, journalist Kate Murphy addressed the incessant rise of loneliness in the digital age and within cultures that tout personal success and identities over collectivism. Her recommendation (which shouldn’t be taken as a conclusive solution to the assuredly more complex issues of our times 😅) was to listen more.

As a New York Times contributor, Murphy was granted opportunities to meet individuals whose reputable careers were marked by their ability to listen and almost reflexively understand people, from ex-CIA agents to master moderators. By compiling the lessons she learned from the aforementioned and supporting them with scientific studies, Murphy created a book that presented principles of communication I’m sure most of us would consider common sense, but made me contemplate why they rarely seemed to be applied.

“If someone is dull or uninteresting, it’s on you. You’re not listening.”

Although this book was categorized as Self Help, its overall message was less about the reader and more about how the reader can help others. Concepts such as active listening and therapeutic communication are integral parts of my profession, and as someone whose awkwardness can perceived as me being a “good listener” 😅, I found that this book was full of helpful reminders and valuable, new insights.

Moreover, Murphy’s palpable passion and advocacy for listening was a reassuring attitude to follow in a time where our attention has become a commodity companies and politicians have capitalized on.

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters underscored a myriad of interesting topics (the closeness communication bias, therapeutic communication techniques, etc.), but the most important emphasis always seemed to be placed on this concept of how and why bad news and content with the most shock value has become severely over-represented on social media. The book cast an illuminating view of the intentions behind this development and offered how listening can be used as a simple, yet effective form of a rebellion against the online cacophony.


While You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters made it clear that not everyone and everything is worth opening your ears to and that there are times when your voice is imperative, it was a meaningful report on when and why listening should supersede instincts to tune people out. After all, “listening will overturn expectations.”


i really liked it

Thanks for reading this quick review!

If you’d like to hear about some more specific points that resonated with me while reading this book, I made a chatty journal with me video (at 2 A.M. 🙃) here:

you can go to 3:10 to skip the intro 🙂
Have you read You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters? Would you want to if you haven’t? Was the last quote too cheesy? Let me know 🙂.
(Also, that title is mouthful, yeesh 😅.)

17 thoughts on “Book Review: You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy // listening as a response to loneliness

  1. Excellent thoughts on this one. I like the main topic discussed in this book and have often come to the conclusion myself that listening is not a skill that many possess, even less those who aren’t introverts… And what circulates on the media makes it even harder for people to really “listen” too and see through all the deception. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! This book and its topic is something I’ve been discussing more with people lately, especially my more extroverted friends haha. Thank you so much, Lashaan 😄!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is such an interesting review, thank you for sharing, Belle! I rarely read non-fiction, but this is such a great topic, I might have to check it out sometime. So happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you would really enjoy this book, Marie! I rarely read non-fiction too haha, but I found the book to be a quick and digestible read 🙂. Thank you so much for reading this 😄💗!

      Liked by 1 person

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