How to learn to listen to your partner?
Communication is the most important thing in relationships.
At least, that’s what they say!
For communication with your partner to be effective, you must listen.
And if this is your weak point, know that you can learn to listen.
After all, communication is the be-all and end-all of any relationship.
Those who do not feel or recognize their thoughts and feelings cannot express them constructively.
Those who also don’t hear or understand their partner are less likely to have a fulfilling relationship.
Misunderstandings, disappointments and frustrations are part of everyday relationships.
Said like that, it seems obvious to you.
You tell yourself that everyone knows that.
Yes, the theory makes sense, but the practice does not.
How to develop good listening skills?
What are the best practices ?
The bads ?
Why is good communication so important in relationships?
Broadly speaking, there are three reasons why communication is the most important building block for healthy and stable relationships :
- Communication is important to be able to express what bothers you and what does not bother you.
- It allows you to understand what your partner wants and feels.
- Communication makes it possible to find solutions together.
All this is of course linked.
But you can definitely start on your own.
The most important step towards better communication in a relationship is to listen properly.
What does the other really mean?
A surprising number of people find this surprisingly difficult.
It can certainly be practiced.
And it gets easier and better over time.
How does listening work?
First, you can start by realizing that no one can see inside your head and your heart, and vice versa.
You must therefore recognize and communicate your own feelings and thoughts.
No one knows what the other person is thinking.
And the problem is often that you have certain thoughts in your head before you respond or react.
But the other person does not know these thoughts.
It’s like reading the titles of a book and then trying to reproduce the contents of the book.
Much of what has been said is lost.
Another important part of learning to listen is not giving yourself the ultimate example.
You are not always right and your point of view is only one of many possible points of view.
Instead, you have to accept that other people work differently and no one is perfect.
This way, you make sure you don’t close yourself off to the other person’s thoughts and feelings from the start.
It is also crucial that during the conversation you do not already have everything ready in your head.
Otherwise, you’re just waiting for the right time to initiate those thoughts.
Which means you don’t pay attention to what the other is saying.
There is no real exchange, because you are not mentally involved in what is being said.
Because listening well means that at the moment of listening, you are mentally present with your partner.
Instead of blaming your partner, try showing empathy.
Of course, it depends on the situation.
But consciously accepting the other person’s feelings helps in learning how to listen properly.
This is how you perceive emotions and not only care about your own.
You should also refrain from any unsolicited advice.
Instead, a better approach is to develop an understanding of others’ experiences.
Even if you see the situation differently!
Advice reflects the views and experiences of the person giving the advice.
But since each of us has different life experiences, the advice may be inappropriate.
Everyone is different, feels different, reacts differently.
Just because you did something a certain way doesn’t mean your partner would automatically do it the same way.
Open-ended questions instead of judgments and hasty conclusions.
Sometimes you make mental connections where there are none.
And then you feel angry or disappointed.
Open-ended questions help gain clarity.
It will help you both.
If the other person shared their fears and feelings, use open-ended questions to help them find your own answers.
Speaking of rest: don’t let emotions overwhelm you, but breathe and take breaks if it gets too intense or doesn’t feel good at the time.
But also take the time to really let the other person speak.
Thus, listening – we often speak of active listening – becomes understanding for the other.
For listening to work properly, the right frame is crucial.
Do not communicate important things in public or argue when emotions are too strong.
Both must have time to reflect and they must feel comfortable.
Set up a date in a comfortable atmosphere.
Bring the subject to the table, then everyone has 15 minutes to speak and give their point of view, for example.
Important: the listener should not interrupt – unless it is a question of comprehension.
Then it’s the other person’s turn.
Proposed solutions and compromises are agreed together.
Both must participate…
Listening well is important; but it is also a lot of work and a long process.
That’s why it only works if both get involved and are open to it.
If one finds it unimportant or stupid, then good listening – like all one-sided efforts in relationships – won’t work.
And if your partner even behaves in a toxic or manipulative way in conversations, it’s time to ask yourself why you’re doing it anyway.
But if both partners accept it, it can greatly improve the quality of the relationship.
And make both of them happier.
Because nothing works without communication.