About the Author

Michelle Ami Reyes, PhD, is an author and activist. Her first book, Becoming All Things, is the recipient of the 2022 ECPA award. Michelle writes at the intersection of multiculturalism, faith, and justice. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle,
    I agree with your observation — when people are conversing, they are more often reloading instead of listening. In order to connect with people, you need to make an investment in time spent. Listening to people’s ideas, learning their unique bents, and asking questions helps solidify a solid connection — even then, may we slow to correct. I admit, I do miss the days when you could have a rousing “debating discussion” with someone and still walk away as friends rather than be prepared to take up arms.

    • Thanks, Bev! Such good thoughts. And you’re right — part of the reason why we have to shift our approach to conversations is because the culture has shifted. We have to remind ourselves that just because we did it one way growing up and that worked doesn’t mean that same approach works right now in the present.

    • Bev,

      I have missed you on this blog post. Prayers for you & your family. So so happy you are back once again!!

      Blessings 🙂

  2. This was a perfect one for me to read, ponder, and put into practice.
    My problem, solution personality sometimes is a disadvantage relationally.
    Thank you this morning.

    • Praise God! I completely understand. I feel like I have a fairly strong personality too, and it can be hard to explain things in a soft way. One of the BIG ways that I’ve learned to show more grace is my taking more time and energy, asking questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking/desiring/hoping. May God give you wisdom and grace and clarity for the road ahead.

  3. I have been trying to find the link to do the survey. When I type it in it says not available. Can you put the link on here?

    • Hi Tammy! Sorry for the confusion. Today’s podcast episode is a replay from the summer and that survey mentioned is longer available. Thanks though for your willingness to fill it out! Hope you have a blessed day.

  4. This is so beautiful Michelle and so true. Everyone is trying to get there perspective across to others and not listening to each other… hands and feet. Humble posture to learn, listen, love, share Jesus – thank you!

    • So so true! So many times, we’re not actually trying to hear what the other person has to say. We’re just waiting for them to stop talking so we can just carry on with our ideas. When we do that, there is no hope for deeper connection, understanding, or relational trust. We need humility to pursue a better way! <3

  5. I’m adding your questions for deeper understanding to my tool box! The humility to say I don’t quite understand can you explain further is a huge example listening well! Bless you for sharing!

    • Amen! And I completely agree. So often I want to just be able to have an answer to whatever people say. But yes, sometimes the best and most humble response is, “I don’t understand. Can you clarify?” That response protects us from getting mad too quickly or misinterpreting the other person’s words. Lord, give us grace!

  6. Thank you for this insight, Michelle! I, too, was on a debate team in high school. (Maybe to my detriment.) I am growing in this area of listening, but I still have a long way to go. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

    • Hey, Irene! I still love debate, but I (hopefully) have learned the time and place for it, and when not to debate (which can be so hard). Sometimes, the best thing to do is just show people love, especially if it’s our family. Instead of trying to immediately change them, I’ve tried to just love them for who they are.

  7. Thank you for these inspiring wise words in which I will put into practice starting today.

  8. What a refreshing way to look at our own and others’ opinions and I love your questions!! Thanks for sharing. I know I can be guilty of “reloading.” Much better to listen to others’ ideas more closely.

  9. Really enjoying the podcasts and articles.
    Real life – real stories from a variety of people in all walks of life.
    Thank you for the encouragement to continue on our journey !

  10. What great questions! In the current state of affairs, i have tended to go quiet but those are good conversation starters and then I just need to keep my mouth shut and listen.
    BTW…am also one of those “love to hash out and debate ideas” kind of person and have a friend or two who love it as well…..makes my brain sing and we can do it without shutting each other down and can agree to disagree. Gifts indeed

  11. Michelle,

    Lack of understanding other people is key reason we don’t have connections. No one sits down & really listens to other people. Everyone seems to be in such a hurry that we hear things, but don’t take the time to dig deeper into the conversation. That is the biggest problem in this country. The reason there is so much disharmony. A conversation isn’t a battle ground. It is a way of expressing your opinions. Let’s take time to have meaningful conversations with others. Yes make the effort to listen & get to know the other person before spouting off your rebuttal.

    Blessings 🙂

  12. Thank you for writing this. I agree with you and am so thankful that you are getting your perspective out to so many. As you said, this is easier said than done, but with the Holy Spirit living in us, we have the power to show extraordinary grace, love, and kindness to others if we only allow God to work through us. This is an outworking of the fruit of the spirit in us, which God promises to grow in every believer. Keep spreading kindness!