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. 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.
Being attentive and focused when it’s time to listen to your partner makes a huge difference. That means turning off your phone, making full eye contact with your partner, and going into the conversation full of curiosity.
Approach the conversation as a collaborative experience
Listen from the perspective of your partner’s point of view to bring about a resolution. See if you can put yourself objectively in their shoes to help you better understand their thoughts, emotions, and perspective.
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 at the moment with your partner. Practice just “being” and take it all in.
Don’t take things personally
It might be hard but try and let go of the thought that what your partner is saying is all about you. It’s important to remember that your partner is communicating their own experience, which may or may not have anything to do with you.
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.
For some more tips on how to carry out mindful listening, check out this article.