I have always focused on one key element in all my relationship tips, i.e., “communication.”
Communication is indeed an essential foundation in a relationship. But when we say communication, it doesn’t mean only talking. Communication can be of two ways: talking and listening.
For a healthy and long-lasting relationship, both talking and listening are equally important.
According to Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, a psychologist who specializes in couples and the author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great said, “It’s important to recognize that there are two parts to any conversation, the person doing the talking and the person who’s trying to actively listen.’
Why being a good listener is important in a relationship?
Everybody isn’t a good listener. It is a skill that a few possess. In a relationship, several elements hold and bind two individuals together.
A good listener helps in balancing and strengthens a relationship. Listening to your partner means you are solving half of your issues by understanding their perspective. It also helps in minimizing misunderstandings in a relationship.
Overall, good listening skill helps to improve your relationship.
Now, how to be a better listener in a relationship to maintain balance?
It is a challenge indeed for those who don’t have this quality, but there isn’t a thing in the world that is not possible to attain.
Types of Listening:-
3 Major Benefits of active listening in relationships : –
Helps you build connection
Helps you build trust
Helps you identifying, understanding relationship issues and solve them
In this blog post, I will share some important and best ways to enhance your listening skill, making you a better listener.
Please follow till the end and do not skip the article:
How to be a Better Listener in a Relationship
To become a better listener, you must pay attention to what your partner is saying. Listening more is the number one tip to become a better listener. As a partner, you must give respect and lend your ears to understand her/his perspective.
For example, if your partner wants to share something related to her/his work and wants your guidance on the same, you must pay attention to the details before giving any decision.
When your partner wants to share, you have to understand that she/he wants to be heard and understood.
So, it is crucial to be patient first and listen more often.
Enhance Your Understanding
Understanding is another key element in a relationship that holds two individuals together. To increase the understanding level in a relationship, a couple must work together.
First, both have to spend quality time to know each other better.
Second, to enhance the understanding level, there should be ‘trust’ in a relationship. Trust will be established when both give each other enough time, respect, love and listen to each other’s perspective without judging.
I have already covered the part on ‘how to build trust in a relationship.’
So, a better listener also helps build trust and understands his/her partner well. The more patiently you will listen to your partner, the better you will understand the point of view and motive.
Do Not Interrupt
I get so mad at my husband when he interrupts our conversation either with a phone or television. Interruption can be caused by anything.
A phone call, SMS, or the urge to watch a television program. All these cause a major distraction.
If you want to become a better listener for your relationship, you should never interrupt the one who is talking. It’s disrespecting, and any kind of interruption will make your partner feel ‘ignored.’
We often interrupt our partner in the middle of a conversation. We don’t let them finish their part of talking. Before even understanding their point, we often either conclude or give our judgment.
So, this kind of cutting off should be avoided in a relationship.
Instead of interrupting, you can listen to your partner, let her/him finish, and then politely give that if they ask for your suggestion or opinion.
This is what I call ‘healthy communication.’
Make Eye Contact During a Conversation
I like when people make eye contact during conversations. Even if you are in a professional field, both a speaker and a listener should make eye contact during conversations.
When you are making eye contact with the person, you are attentive and interested in communicating with that person.
Likewise, it works the same in a relationship too. When your partner is talking, sharing her/his feelings, perspective, or any random talking, make eye contact and assure them that you are listening.
Ask Questions & Give Your Opinion
When I was thinking of writing this blog post on ‘how to be a better listener in a relationship,’ I thought about my relationship.
How my husband and I communicate, and who is a better listener?
I was never a better listener. During my early days of marriage, I have had a bad habit of interrupting and never had the patience of listening to the complete conversation.
It used to create misunderstandings between us.
But with time, I have evolved and improved my listening skill which has helped me maintain my relationship well.
Coming to the point, if you want to be a better listener while communicating, you must show interest, engage yourself and be an active communicator.
How could you engage yourself in a conversation with your partner?
Clearly, by asking questions and giving your opinion.
When you engage yourself in the conversation with your partner, it will be two-way communication, and it will help building your relationship strong.
Do not Judge
We often conclude and pass a judgment without even listening to the complete subject matter. This is a very common mistake that couples make in a relationship.
If your partner is telling you something she expects to be heard, suppose you are not interested or in a mood at that moment; there is a high possibility of judging her/his statement without even listening to it.
And this will create differences in a relationship.
So, never judge your partner; respect her/his views and perspective.
To become a better listener and improver your relationship, you must have patience. ‘Patience’ is one of the key elements on ‘how to become a better listener.’
Your partner might have complaints about something that you might not be interested in listening to or don’t agree with. But there is no harm in listening to what he/she has to say.
For a moment, keep your ego and pride aside and enjoy being with your partner; allow her/him to express fully.
If you are feeling impatient, the best way to deal with impatience is ‘deep breathe.’
Improve Your Approach
By ‘improve your approach’, I meant ‘change in attitude.’ It is very important to keep a positive attitude during a conversation in a relationship.
When your love partner or spouse is showing willingness for a conversation, extend your initiation in making the conversation successful.
If you have a negative approach towards your spouse and during communication, you show disinterest and not be willing to listen to her/him; this will never improve your relationship.
Instead, it will dampen the closeness and affect your relationship.
Validate Your Partner’s Emotion
A relationship is a two-way journey where both individuals have to contribute equally with full dedication and honesty.
If you want to make your relationship better, both have to nurture the relationship with more love and care.
Relationships are not hard to maintain. It is beautiful if cared for properly. To become a better listener in a relationship, one must validate the partner’s emotions.
For example, you must understand your partner’s intent. What he/she wants to share, why does he/she want to share, what emotion is working, etc,
Practice makes a person perfect and better. When you are in love and want to make your relationship better, you would want to do things that will do that.
Suppose a person possess a good listening skill. In that case, it will help him/her in the personal life in maintaining relationships and help in the professional field in achieving dreams.
With continuous little effort and patience, you will become a good listener gradually.
MY RECOMMENDATION FOR BEST BOOK ON IMPROVING LISTENING SKILL –
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
These are some of the tips that, if followed, will help a person becoming a better listener.
If you have any other queries related to ‘how to be a better listener in a relationship,’ you can mail me directly. I will gladly try to help you.