thanks TH and Greek.

the explanation and examples helped. sometimes i read advice about how one should be 'actively listening' and i hadn't a clue what that meant.

i'm usually the one who tries to logically reason with the other person. so this is something i really need to work on.

What is it they are really saying? Are they trying to tell you how they feel?

how do i know when my answers to the above questions are due to 'mind-reading'?

R2C - sorry for the mini-hijack. i think greek's explanation deserved to be sticky-ed here. i hope it helps others who don't know what active listening is.