You may have heard before that communication is the key to a healthy relationship. But, what many people gloss over is the fact that active listening is a huge part of communication.
Unfortunately, active listening in relationships (and in everyday life) has become harder than ever. It’s far too easy to get distracted, tune out, or pretend we’re listening when your mind is elsewhere.
If you feel as though communication has been lacking in your relationship, it can cause problems. You might start to feel isolated, alone, or disrespected.
Making listening a priority in your relationship can help to get it back on track. When you practice active listening together, you and your partner can start to feel closer than ever. With that in mind, let’s look at why listening is so important, and what you can do to improve it in your relationship.
Listening Connects the Dots
When you don’t actively listen to what your partner is saying, you could be missing out on the point. By practicing active listening, you’re less likely to experience misunderstandings in your relationship. Why?
Listening isn’t the same as hearing. When you hear what your partner says, you can process the information, but you may not be picking up on the tone, or the meaning behind the words. As a result, it’s easy to get your signals crossed.
Listening Gets Rid of The Blame Game
When you actually commit to listening to your partner, you’re letting them know they are safe and secure. They can come to you with anything and know you will listen and support them
In general, people tend to offer advice or solutions when someone comes to them with a problem. This becomes an even bigger issue in relationships. When you choose to listen, your partner can come to you with an issue and you don’t have to offer immediate advice. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to be there and offer an open ear.
Active listening creates a safe environment without judgment. When you listen, your partner knows they can count on you. In the end, you also won’t be at fault for any answers or solutions you come up with that might not pan out.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide feedback. In fact, positive feedback is one of the keys to active listening. Feedback is supportive; it is not about giving advice or telling your partner what to do.
How To Be a More Active Listener
Listening builds trust in a relationship. It can also foster more intimacy. It will improve your communication and help you to become a stronger couple.
It’s not hard to actively listen to your partner when you choose to do so. The biggest hurdle you’ll have to overcome is making sure you don’t get distracted. Turn off the television, put your smartphone away, and choose a time to talk when you both are free and not rushed.
Another key to being a good listener is to summarize what you’re hearing. Ask questions and don’t interrupt. When your partner knows you want to be sure you’re getting the details right, they’ll feel more appreciated and understood.
When you make listening a bigger part of your relationship, you’ll feel closer you can feel to the person you love.
If you’re struggling with communication or how to be a better listener, feel free to contact me. We can work together to improve your communication and listening skills, so your relationship can continue to thrive.