Relationship Talk: Perfecting Your Listening Skills

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Relationship Talk: Perfecting Your Listening Skills

October 20th, 2015

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When it comes to relationships, one of the biggest hurdles so many of us struggle with is communication. From relationships that have been ongoing for years, to the newest blossoming love, an open line of communication is the name of the game. It’s the one thing JR and I make sure we have no matter how many miles apart we may be. It’s what keeps you close and connected.

So how do you get there? When it comes down to it, being a good listener is where it begins and ends. Even in the heat of the moment, when you have things to say too, putting your best listening skills into action can be the resolution that’s needed and will continue to build a strong foundation for any relationship. So how do you stop yourself from jumping in? How can you be the one to make listening a priority? Here’s a look at a few small tweaks that will make all the difference.


Relationship Talk: Perfecting Your Listening Skills

Give your undivided attention. There is nothing worse than being the person who wants to be heard and having the listener only half pay attention. You’ve been there (you know you have!), and it’s infuriating. So put away the smartphone, put down the magazine, stop sorting through the mail and give your complete attention to your partner. He or she will feel heard and this goes a long way toward achieving successful communication.

As tough as it might be, try not to interrupt. This goes hand in hand with offering your full attention. When you let the other person get his or her complete thought out on the table, it creates a feeling of satisfaction – almost a sigh of relief to have the opportunity to get his or her feelings out there. This can be really tough, especially when you want to get your thoughts out there also or even if you want to give advice. But rather than interrupt, let your partner’s full thought be expressed.

Don’t simply listen with your ears, but be perceptive about how he or she is expressing themselves through body language. If your partner looks defeated or sad, take that into account when you’re listening. Sometimes being a good listener means gathering other clues about the circumstances – and body language can be a big one.

Show your partner that you haven’t just listened, but you have actually heard his or her concerns or what they’ve had to say. Rather than simply getting defensive or directly jumping into your feelings on the matter, repeat back to them what you heard and apply his or her perspective to your own. Ask your partner what he or she wants or needs to feel supported – and then, follow through on your commitment to give what’s been asked of you.

There’s nothing more important in life than the people we love the most – and sometimes we forget to make their emotional needs a priority. Being the one to listen with an open mind and heart is the first step to improving communication and making sure your special person knows just how much you care. Do your listening skills need a bit of an overhaul?


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