I can’t tell you how many times in my Houston relationship counseling sessions I’ve heard, “He never listens to me!” or “She just waits for her turn to talk!”
Everyone “knows” that listening is an important part of maintaining healthy relationships, but most of us don’t really understand what that means or how to listen. And it’s kind of understandable, because as Mark Nepo points out in his fantastic new book, if there are 7,000 different active languages in the world, that must mean that there are at least that many ways to listen and understand each other and the world.
Mark’s argument is that we need to be more open to our surroundings and keep our ears and minds receptive in order to truly take in the world. If we can do this, we’ll form a better connection not only with people in our lives, but with our spiritual selves. I think that his lesson is one that can be applied very nicely to romantic relationships and offer marriage help.
Learn to Listen to Everyone Differently in Houston Relationship Counseling
As much as Mark says that there are 7,000 ways to listen, I believe there are over 7 billion ways to listen. That’s right, one for every human being on the planet.
It’s because we’re all unique individuals with highly specific experiences. No one is exactly like you – or your husband or wife. But we can only learn to understand the unique way in which our loved ones communicate by actually listening to them. And not just to what they say, but how they act and dress and interact with us.
People are telling us how to listen to them (what they need) all the time, but most of us are either too busy thinking about what we want to say, or too narrow minded in our ideas about what listening means. Some people want you to respond so they know that you’re paying attention. Others simply need a sounding board. And still others actually want engaged conversation and answers – even if the questions seem rhetorical!
Houston Relationship Counseling: Two Ears, One Mouth
Want some real marriage help? Just read the old proverb that says we have two ears and one mouth. Translation: listen more and talk less. It’s something that applies to lots of situations, but when you’re focusing on your relationship, the goal should always be to figure out what the other person needs. The way to do that is to listen to them. Don’t interrupt, and don’t just wait for your turn to speak. You might just find that listening teaches you more about yourself, too.
To learn more about the different kinds of listening, contact Houston relationship counseling today.