I hear it all the time in Houston relationship counseling: “He never listens to me!”
One of the most common reasons that people seek out marriage help is due to the fact that they just don’t know how to communicate with their partner. They feel like they keep saying the same things over and over but their spouse just isn’t listening. Usually, the bad listener in question fully admits that they have a problem but they don’t know what they need to do to solve it.
While I’m never happy to hear about people having problems, it always makes my job easier when both people are ready and willing to learn. At that point, all they need are the right tools, and that’s something that I can readily give them.
Get the Tools to Improve Your Listening in Houston Relationship Counseling
Listening, just like any other skill, is something that has to be learned and practiced regularly or you can quickly fall back into bad habits like interrupting and just waiting for your turn to speak. Here are several things you can do to improve your ability to really listen to your significant other.
- Remove distractions. If you’re the type of person who can’t keep from glancing at your phone or computer screen during a conversation, the best thing you can do is find a space that isn’t distracting in which to have important conversations. That means no other people, no screens, and no music or other noises to steal your attention.
- Repeat and encourage. A tactic that I like to use in Houston relationship counseling is repeating part of what my clients say and encouraging them to continue. One of the reasons this is great for the listener as well as the person speaking is because it forces you to actually pay attention to their words or you won’t be able to repeat them back.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Another useful technique is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This means not only trying hard to listen because you likely want them to listen to you, but also trying to think about where they’re coming from and what their point of view is. Not only will this make you listen better, it will help you to understand them and can alleviate arguments over differences in opinion.
If these techniques don’t immediately work for you, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. You can always seek out further marriage help in Houston relationship counseling.