Communication plays a key role in any relationship. A relationship where the feelings fail to be conveyed or to be heard, gets weakened in its roots. If you have faced the accusations of not giving an ear to your partner’s utterance, it is indeed a problem then. In fact miscommunication or its lack there of, can be a nuisance to any happy relationship.
The reason doesn’t need to be you being hard of hearing. It is as simple and as saddening as you not giving enough importance to what your partner wants to say. Heard this before? Well, that’s because even if you have had a 4 hour long fight over it to prove that ‘it is not like that’, it is after all like this. But don’t feel so guilty. It is a major issue in most relationships and often the person accused of not listening isn’t even aware of the fact, given of course you are giving them the silent treatment.
Why is communication so important in a relationship?
A couple that shares their ideas, beliefs and experiences, connect well. When you express your feelings and listen to them conveying their own, it strengthens your bond with them. But it is not something to be taken so literally. An effective communication between to individuals in a relationship is the one where you can read in between the lines. Often your partner won’t mouth the words when something may have hurt or bothering them. It is you as their beau who has to understand what they are trying to tell you when your usually calm and cheerful bae suddenly replies to you irritably.
What are the things they need to convey?
Our minds are streaming with a billion+ thoughts all the time. All the while when we are working, eating food or even resting, our mind is processing the thoughts and filing and grouping them under suitable heads. This can be quite taxing to handle alone for any given person. And your partner is no different. They need you to be there for them just to listen to what’s going on in their minds and in their lives.
It could be something too trivial as little funny incident that may have happened at the breakfast table or something as big as a complex work issue. In a relationship it is not an occupational hazard but a privilege in its own to be able to talk openly about your feelings. So, instead of letting your own and their feelings become a resentment; a happy relationship calls for sharing them unhesitatingly. Even the doubts about the relationship and their complaints about you or anything at all must be respected and welcomed with open hearts. Ironically, it is in fact surprising but nevertheless true that you often fail to even acknowledge their appreciation fully. These small yet big things are crucial to any couple to lead a happy comradeship while ignoring them can threateningly spell trouble.
So, how can you be a better listener?
Now that you know why an effective communication is so important, you need to brush your listening skills. Your partner must not feel left out or belittled. And for this you should not just nod your head and hear your beau out passively. You really need to listen and internalize their thoughts, besides responding to them appropriately as well, to make them know you are not simply listening but are also interested in what they are saying.
1. Listen carefully
Pay attention when they are speaking to you. If you are busy with something, either stop your work to listen to them or tell them you will shortly be there for them. Thing to keep in mind here is that, give them time and hear them out especially when you have promised them that. Keeping too wrapped up in yourself will only cause miscommunication and annoyance.
2. Don’t hesitate to apologise
If by chance you were not able to give them time you promised or couldn’t listen to them the first time, make sure you apologise to them and not let this happen again.
3. Make a note
If your beau is usually found complaining you forget what they tell you, keep a not of the important things to overcome this problem. You can either make a note in your planner or set an alarm or reminder on your phone.
4. Understand them
You should make an effort to understand what your partner is trying to tell you. Reading between the lines and recognizing their emotions are prerequisite to listening. You should know what and how it is affecting them and you in the run.
5. Refrain from unsolicited advice
Your partner usually shares with you things because you are an important part of their life and they want you in on it. But it doesn’t necessarily imply that they are seeking your expert guidance. So, until and unless they ask for it, refrain from churning out any advice.
6. Don’t interrupt
Be it your bae or anybody else, it is always rude to interrupt them when they are in the middle of saying something. Moreover, it makes them feel disrespected and what they were talking about seem unimportant. If you too have something to share, wait till they are finished.
7. Acknowledge what they are talking
Instead of sitting there idly, acknowledge what they are talking about by appropriate remarks and questions from time to time. Even your facial expressions speak a volume when it comes to responding fittingly. On the other hand, giving no response makes them feel you are not listening at all.
8. Try to provide them with what they are seeking
Listening to them properly can only give you a clue what is it they want from you. Is it your empathy, your happiness or surprise, your advice or do they want you to do something for them. If you can, put your best foot forward to do it, otherwise help them understand why you cannot.
9. Let conversation finish
Getting up and leaving the place or changing the subject before the conversation has come to an end will lead to a sour misunderstanding. If they have ended the talk themselves, there’s no problem. You simply need to remember it. But if not, then you need to ask them if they need anything else before moving on to any other topic.
10. Keep your negative emotions in check
Sometimes what your beau says can defy your own thinking and beliefs, but still you must not burst out with anger. Think before you react. Maybe what they are complaining about is the truth after all and you have been wrong. Or even if it may not be so, only your calm attitude can help them change their mind and see and think clearly.
Listening to your beau is no rocket science. If you love and respect your partner and expect the same from them, honing the skill to listen will come naturally. And if not, you can always polish it, isn’t it? One thing is for sure anyway, when you have learnt to listen to your beau they will also listen to you patiently and all the problems you had in context to listening, will become history.
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