Improving Your Listening Skills for Better Communication with Your Partner
A relationship can be a whole world of complications, but not necessarily when you take that one essential part of it to heart - communication. Indeed, as long as you can communicate effectively with your partner, you're both covered for more than half of a typical couple's challenges.
In fact, improving your communication at
is that one most significant improvement you can to better your relationship. And to become an effective communicator, it's important that you are first a good listener. Understanding the following time-tested concepts can set you off to a great start:
Attending is simply showing your partner that he or she has your attention. One way to do this is to exhibit open body language - facing your partner, establishing eye contact, and the like. Another way to assure the person that you're listening is by giving subtle verbal cues, like saying "uhuh" or "okay" at certain points, or simply nodding your head.
When your partner talks about something really important, show your understanding by repeating what he or she has just said - 'So you need me to pick up your folks at the airport tomorrow morning.'
Sometimes, you won't get exactly what your partner is saying, but instead of making assumptions or completely ignoring the person - either of which can have serious consequences, depending on the issue at hand - get clarified - 'So you mean you need me to pick up your folks at the airport tomorrow morning?'
If your partner shares quite a big chunk of information and you just want to get to the key threads, you can say, 'So you have a meeting with your team tomorrow morning and you're not sure if you can wrap up by 11, so you need me to pick up your folks at the airport.
To show your eagerness to listen and that you are sincerely interested in hearing more, use subtle encouragers to keep your partner going. For instance, at certain points, you can say, "Really, so what happened?" or "Did he really say that?" etc.
It's always annoying when you're trying to talk to someone and that person keeps cutting you off. When your partner is speaking, give him or her the time and stop finishing off their statements. As this happens, try to avoid distractions, like fidgeting or mentally organizing tomorrow's chores.