In marriage, we’re all guilty of not giving our full attention to our spouse all the time. We need communication. It strengthens our love for one another and increases our trust. Listening is a key part of any healthy relationship. Not just hearing, but actually listening to what the other person is saying. You’ve probably heard that advice before, however. Whether or not you have, it can be difficult to follow it. What does it mean to be a good listener? Even if you are a good listener, how do you let your spouse know you’re listening?
To help you out, the following are five ways to more effectively listen to your spouse.
1. Make Sure Your Body Language Shows You’re Listening
Listening to spouse – Actions speak louder than words. If you want to let your spouse know you are listening to them attentively, you should start paying more attention to your body language. This is something many of us need to practice. Make sure to make eye contact with your spouse as she speaks, or at the very least look directly at them. Don’t look away, if possible. Furthermore, try not to fold your arms, as it gives the appearance of being uncomfortable or that you’re shutting out their ideas. Fidgeting too much can be seen as boredom. Of course, many of us fidget a little bit, but try not to do it too much.
2. Don’t Interrupt Each Other
It’s easy to want to cut into a conversation when you have something on your mind, but it’s a habit which must be broken. Not only is it rude, but it makes it seem like formulating a retort is more important than listening to what the other person is saying. If you want to show yourself to be a good listener, let them finish their thought, so they know their heard, and then respond.
3. Ask Questions About Your Conversation
Asking questions is a good way to show you are interested in what your spouse is saying. Keep the questions as relevant as possible, though. Asking generic questions, or questions about something you’ve already discussed is a sign you aren’t actually paying attention.
4. Don’t One-Up Your Spouse
Don’t one-up everything your spouse has to say. What do we mean by “one-upping?” Let’s say your spouse comes home from a difficult day at their job, and after telling you about it, you tell them how much worse your day was. Instead of doing that, which shows a lack of empathy, ask them if they need to talk about it, and ask questions. This shows that you care. Of course, don’t take this to mean you should bottle up your own problems. You can tell them about your rough day too, but don’t use it as a way to one-up them. Make sure the timing’s appropriate. AD: Find Free Ultrasound>
5. Try Making Decisions Together
One time it’s most important to listen is during decision-making. Unless you’re planning a surprise (and even then, you want to be sure your spouse likes surprises), you should make decisions together. It will help each of you learn more about the other and learn how to compromise with each other. Going behind the other person’s back when making a decision (again, perhaps with the exception of a surprise) is a sign that you don’t value their opinion.
In all cases, it’s important to remember to not play the blame-game. Don’t become accusatory or berate your spouse if you suspect they have this problem. It’s something a lot of us need to work on and they might be doing it out of ignorance rather than spite. Remain calm and let them know how you feel without verbally attacking them. Likewise, if you are informed by your spouse that it doesn’t seem like you’re listening, don’t get defensive. Hear what they have to say. If you have any more questions, consider attending a Tulsa marriage seminar near you.