If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this isn’t just your partner’s problem, it is a couple problem! You are blocking the way for your partner to hear you! It’s like yelling at your partner to for not parking the car in the garage but your car is already parked there.
So what’s the moral of the story? One major key to helping your partner to be a better listener is to be a better listener yourself. When they feel heard and like someone wants to understand where they are coming from, we are so much more able to actively listen as our defenses, and frustration are let go.
If your partner is telling you that you’re not listening, don’t gasp rolling your eyes reacting with, “Yes I am!”
Try something different. Tell them what you heard them say.
No, I don’t mean repeat verbatim what they said, but tell them the general message that you are hearing from them. We should care and strive to want our partners to feel heard and vise versa.
Here is an example of a basic AF “take-away” and a more meaningful one.
Surface level take-away: “When I’m late, it pisses you off”
Meaningful take-away: “When I’m late and don’t let you know, you feel disrespected.”
Before you can arrive at meaningful take-aways and understanding, you must pause, and take a breath. Shelve your point for a moment. I am not asking you to neglect it, just put it on a shelf for moment. We will get back to it.
Imagine if you were listening to understand where your partner was coming from.
Imagine if you were listening from a place of curiosity.
Imagine if you shelved your perspective for just a moment and asked to hear more about your partner’s perspective….before making your point FIRST….that’s the hard part.
Put down your weapons of defensiveness and criticism. They only take up precious time and space and often create new fires to put out and repair from.
Ask your partner questions from a genuine place of curiosity. Nothing makes a person a more active listener than trying on their glasses. Look at the situation through a pair of lenses other than your own. It will lead you both down a path of being heard, understood, and on your way to a resolution.
To get my free guide with 5 solid tips to help your partner really hear you, click below!