In my Houston relationship counseling sessions, I work with couples to improve their listening skills. This is an important step to developing better communication and can make a big difference when it comes to resolving relationship problems. If you’re not really listening to your partner’s point-of-view, how can you possibly reach a compromise?

Don’t jump to anger. When your partner is saying something negative, whether it’s about you or not, it’s a common reaction to get angry. But this gets in the way of problem solving. You may be assuming something that your partner didn’t even say! Take a few deep breaths, and ask for a break if you need one.

Ask questions instead of making statements. Your goal should be to get an understanding of your partner’s point-of-view on the problem at hand. If you spend most of the time explaining and defending your view of the matter, you’re not learning about how your partner is feeling.

Let your partner say something you disagree with. Hold back that impulse to correct your partner, even if you just know it’s wrong or have the perfect counterpoint. The goal isn’t winning. It’s understanding.

Don’t multi-task. Don’t check your email, watch TV, or even think about what you’re going to say next. Give your partner 100% of your attention, just like you would if you were in a Houston relationship counseling session.

Repeat things back. This is a great way to let your partner know that you’re really listening to what he or she has to say. It can feel a little awkward at first, but over time, it will become more natural.

Work on Listening Skills in Houston Relationship Counseling

Listening to someone else doesn’t mean you agree with them. You can still have an opportunity to share your opinion, but now you’ll have a better understanding and sensitivity to your partner’s point of view. You can work through your marriage and relationship problems together rather than as adversaries. If you are struggling with your listening skills, I highly recommend seeking Houston relationship counseling.