Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2022

In your relationship, you and your partner each come in with your own unique set of values, beliefs, and points of view. You both have an innate desire to be understood—to feel that you are being heard. Yet, as is often the case in the domain of emotions, you may not have been taught from childhood how to truly listen to one another, and this is where everyday communication in relationships can take a turn for the worse which can lead to conflict. With that in mind, here are five tips that will help you become a better listener in your relationship.

First tip: be present, attentive, and focused when it’s time to listen to your partner. That means turning off your phone, making full eye contact with your partner, and going into the conversation full of curiosity.

Second tip: approach the conversation as a collaborative experience. Listen from the perspective of your partner’s point of view with the intention of bringing about a resolution. See if you can put yourself objectively in their shoes to help you better understand their thoughts, emotions, and perspective.

Third tip: refrain from trying to figure things out while your partner is sharing. If you find yourself thinking too much while the other person is talking, you may be trying to strategize the perfect thing to say. This will pull you away from being present in the moment with your partner. Practice just “being” and take it all in.

Fourth tip: don’t take things personally. And let go of the thought that what your partner is saying is all about you. Try to remember that your partner is communicating their own personal experience, which may or may not have anything to do with you.

Fifth tip: let go of any attachments or agenda. Whenever you are attached to a particular outcome, you can come across as though you’re pushing your own agenda, rather than being in a state of listening. There’s no need to have control over every conversation. Simply listen and you will find yourself communicating better with your partner.

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