Communication is the very life blood and foundation of a good and solid relationship, but it comes in two parts.
- Expressing our thought and emotions to others so they can better understand
- Listen to what others, so we may better understand them.
It’s sad to say that the latter part is often neglected, because we only listen to respond and often fail to hear or understand.
So here’s a challenge, a simple practical approach to listening with additional benefits that will soon become clear.
Let a partner speak, and then repeat back to them your understanding of what they have just said, it’s actually a lot more difficult then you imagine, especially if it’s about something that’s not going right and we are feeling vulnerable or defensive.
For a partner, just the action of playing back what they’ve just said and explaining your understanding of there statement can be very reassuring. It proves that you’ve been paying attention and helps kindle an atmosphere of discussion, obviously repeated everything back parrot style can be extremely annoying, so think about how it’d framed e.g. “Okay, so what I’m hearing you say, is that you feel taken for granted and less important to me because I’m sending messages to my other partner while we are out together.”
That feeling of being listened to is priceless, because being heard helps develop a deeper mutual trust and positive atmosphere of understanding surrounding the conversation and future dialogues if maintained.
It’s not easy, but it is simple and effective. Try it today, you might be pleasantly surprised how effective it can be.