Listen And Hear Your Partner- How to do it?

Guide Relationship

Do you feel the communication between you and your partner isn’t that good? Are your conversations often ending up in misunderstandings? It is very common that couples feel this way. There are many things we can say about communication, but one simple thing you can analyze first is your listening skills. Do you actually listen?

There was a study about effective listening with over 8000 working adults participating. All of them believed that they communicated as effectively or more effectively than their fellow colleagues. However, the study shows that the average person listen with a very low level of efficiency – only about 25%.

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Listening and hearing is not the same thing

To hear is the ability to pick up sounds to your ear. To listen goes further – it means you give attention to that sound. As such, it requires focus and concentration. To listen means you pay attention to what someone says. You also give attention to things such as body language and tone of voice. Hence, you pick up both verbal and non-verbal messages, and this is important if you are going to be an effective listener.

The importance of effective listening in a relationship

There are few things in a relationship that is so annoying as a partner who doesn’t listen when you speak. Therefore, communication is so crucial – it is the “method” we use to relate to others. It is how we understand our partner and others and how others understand us.

For any relationship to be harmonious and resilient, there must be effective communication, and one big part of effective communication is to possess good listening skills. Without good listening skills, you can never be a good communicator.

Here are 7 traits a good listener must have:

  • A good listener seeks to understand.

Stephen R. Covey once said the insightful words: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to respond.” This is possibly very true. Not all situations are black and white. How your partner views a particular situation or sees things would often differ from the way you see it. It is crucial to take time to understand what your partner really means without being quick to reply. If we don’t, we won’t be good listeners and effective communicators.

  • A good listener let others speak to point.

Interruptions happens easily, but we recommend that you avoid them in any communication setting. Let your partner speak to point. Even though you don’t agree of whet is being said, listen until he/she finishes his/her sentence. It’s interesting to notice that the word “listen” contains the same letters at the word “silent…”

  • A good listener doesn’t give deflecting answers.

To deflect is to sidetrack the discussion to another subject. As a result, if we deflect from the topic that your partner is sharing, we show that we are not listening, and that we are disinterested in what is being said. Deflecting communicates that we are preoccupied with our own thoughts and things. Deflecting can happen when we share our personal experiences regarding the same topic. The focus then deviates from the other person to us.

  • A good listener shows genuine concern.

As your partner shares things from his/her heart, a good listener shows genuine concern. Perhaps your partner share personal things that is not easy to share. It could be a personal failure or a bad report. Here you have an important task and that is to show interest and demonstrate sincere concern. A gentle touch on the hand, nodding and responses such as “I see” and “mmmm…” can be helpful to use. Use eye contact. Don’t be distracted by things around you.

A good listener uses paraphrasing.

With some creativity, you can learn to paraphrase what you just heard. A paraphrasing sentence could start with: “Am I right to say that…” or “It sounds to me like you really feel…” It helps you to understand and clarify what your partner is saying and it communicates to your partner that you are truly listening.

A good listener pauses and then asks open-ended questions.

Don’t be too quick to ask questions. A few seconds of wait is usually helpful. Open-ended questions encourage the person to share more. Some examples could be “How did you feel when that happened?”, “What do think would be the best option to do now?”

Try to avoid “why-questions” that often makes people defensive.

A good listener doesn’t get tired of listening.

It is easy to stop listening after you come from work. You may be tired after listening to people the whole day. Or you are upset with the person you are talking to. Hence, yow you want to “turn off.” But this may be ruinous to your relationship. An effective listener continues to listen without showing that he/she is tired. If you are discussing matters that aren’t so urgent for your partner, you may want to ask if you can continue to discuss the next day if you are tired. If not, try to put your partner’s needs of sharing before your own needs.

In conclusion, as a couple, learning to communicate better is always advantageous for your relationship. As an anonymous person profoundly expressed it: “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.”