Tips For Actively Listening And Communicating With Your Partner
If you are a married individual who is having trouble in your relationship, then you may want to seek out professional assistance. Relationship counseling with a trained therapist, such as Sharon O'Connell, MA, might just be the right option for you. However, you can also work on your relationship at home if you do not want to see a therapist right away. If you decide that you might want to try communicating with your partner first, then make sure that you become an engaged listener. Keep reading to learn about some tips that will help you.
Do Not Interrupt
Sometimes communication between couples can be difficult, especially if you are not truly listening to your partner. If your partner does not feel as though they are being heard, then they may stop trying to communicate with you. This type of communication breakdown can lead to resentment and frustration. If you want to avoid this, then listen while your partner is speaking. Do not interrupt, even if you feel that the things your partner is saying are not correct.
Also, you should do your best to actually listen and think about the things they say. Do not start thinking of a reply or what you want to say in response until your partner finishes speaking. While it may seem reasonable to consider what you want to say, your facial expressions may change if you stop listening. If your body language does not coincide with an active listening posture, then your partner may respond negatively.
An active listening posture involves you making eye contact and responding to your partner by nodding, smiling, or remaining still. Try to stay away from negative postures that include folding the arms across your chest, rolling your eyes, looking off into the distance, or pacing.
Do Not Judge
While it may be hard to hear about criticisms or negativity involving your relationship, try not to judge your partner. Also, do not try to blame or scold your partner. Communication between couples involves sharing emotions, whether you agree with them or not.
Once your partner shares with you, provide feedback that tells them that you heard what they said. Rephrase the information and ask if this is what they many. "I understand that you are feeling hurt" or "I hear that you are saying that your feelings are hurt" are a few good ways to acknowledge what your partner said. You also should think about asking clarification questions if you are confused about what your partner is saying. "When you say this, what do you mean" or "I think I understand, but can you clarify this point" are a few examples of what you can say.
Once you have actively listened to your partner, it is time for you to respond. You should speak about your feelings and how you feel about things instead of accusing or blaming. This will help your partner to actively listen and to feel engaged in communication.