Are You Listening To Me?

How many times have you asked that question to your husband or wife?

You know the scenario. It’s the end of the day, you come in from work and want to tell them about your day, or to ask for their help with something, or to remind them that you going to your mother for her birthday dinner. But you have that sinking feeling inside of you that no one is listening, they are in the room but no one is there.

Don’t get all self righteous though, if we are being honest, then we need to admit that we have done it too. You hear the distant buzz of someone speaking, but you are thinking about what’s going to be on TV tonight, or when will you get a chance to get your nails done.

So, how can we learn to be better listeners and give our husbands or wives the respect that we know they deserve?

Listen first, speak second. Make sure that you are actually listening to their words and not just planning the next thing that you want to say. When you listen first you create trust, openness and understanding which are also essential elements to finding solutions.

Repeat back to them what they just told you to make sure that you understood, and to let them know that you are trying to understand. It doesn’t matter if they are giving you a shopping list or telling you why they don’t want to call your mother, let them know that you have understood all of the information.

Don’t play dumb. Body language is a more important communicator than the words themselves. If they say “Yes” but their body language says, “No, I am angry, stressed or annoyed”, don’t ignore it, have the patience and caring to try to understand the problem.

When your spouse talks to you, give them eye contact, a smile and your full attention and you will see and hear the delight they feel when they know you are listening.

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