When it comes to relationships, we often consider communication to be solely about expressing ourselves, yet this is only half of the story. It’s also crucial to listen well. But, why is it important to be a good listener? For the simple reason that you’ll be able to better comprehend their point of view if you are listening to your partner effectively. It means you’re more likely to engage in constructive discussions in which your point of view is taken into account.
Many misunderstandings in relationships are a result of one or both partners feeling unheard. Learning how to listen well can go a long way toward addressing this. Learning how to be a good listener is not easy, but with patience, anyone can learn it. Today, we are going to focus on how to be a good listener so you can communicate better with your partner.
Why Is Listening Important In A Relationship?
Your relationship is not a 50s black and white silent film. It involves two people who have individual thoughts and feelings, which they would want to share with each other. When you learn how to become a good listener, you are also becoming a person your partner can rely on to share their problems. If you don’t listen to each other, you would never truly understand your partner and them, you. Here are some reasons why is it important to be a good listener in a relationship:
1. Listening helps create a safe space
Why is it important to be a good listener? Because it creates a safe space. Your partner may wish to express or vent their feelings to you. Instead of responding and attempting to fix an issue right off the bat, it is critical to establish a secure environment for them to share their opinions. You must practice active listening and allow a speaker to explain a problem to you. By listening to your partner, you can create a space where they can feel safe in sharing their deepest thoughts with you.
2. Listening helps improve communication
Why is it important to be a good listener? Because it helps you communicate better with your partner. Active listening allows you to focus on a speaker’s feelings and experiences rather than thinking about what to say next, which can improve communication. As a result, your mind remains open during the dialogue. You will be able to understand your partner better and communicate more effectively.
3. Listening helps develop mutual respect
One of the biggest importance of listening in relationships is that it helps foster mutual respect. When you pay attention to what your partner is saying, you show that you value their ideas. They will also show you the same respect when you want to share something with them. Being attentive also demonstrates that you value each other’s viewpoints. Still wondering, why is it important to be a good listener?
10 Ways To Be A Better Listener
Listening builds trust and exhibits awareness, compassion, and respect. However, listening entails more than just hearing. You must give your full attention, set aside your own agenda, and properly listen. Being free to speak without being interrupted is a liberating experience.
Imagine you are carrying a bucket around all day, collecting various thoughts and emotions. They must be poured out and shared with someone you trust at some point, to lighten the load and prevent those collected thoughts and emotions from spilling over. That’s exactly what you help accomplish when you just listen to your partner pour their heart out.
Listening well is a two-way street. When you practice the art of listening, you also create an atmosphere where it is easier for you to express your feelings. This quality is inherent in some people but others must practice and imbibe it. Here are a few ways in which you can be mindful of your partner’s needs and be a better listener:
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1. Listen more frequently
The importance of listening in a relationship is often overlooked. But when you realize that your partner needs you to be a good listener, you need to take action. Do you want to learn how to listen better? The first piece of advice is to pay attention more often. Perhaps you are so used to doing the talking that you have forgotten how to listen. It’s never a bad idea to swallow one’s pride and extend one’s ear for a change. When you train yourself to listen more frequently, it will become second nature when you’re talking to your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.
2. Remember communication is a two-way street
Besides understanding why it’s important to be a good listener, you also need to understand what it means to be a good listener. Knowing when to stop talking. As previously stated, communication is two-way: when one person speaks, the other listens. And then, these roles are switched. When these roles are not exchanged at all, and just one person speaks and the other listens, disputes emerge and good communication can never be achieved.
3. Be attentive
Practicing being an attentive listener is a crucial step in your journey of learning how to become a good listener. Let go of distractions like your phone. It is critical that you put your phone down when speaking with your girlfriend or boyfriend, especially if the conversation is important.
This demonstrates that you respect the speaker and are paying attention to what they’re saying. During a face-to-face conversation, it is impolite to continuously check or fiddle with one’s phone. Put your phone on silent mode to improve your listening skills. Those emails and messages can wait.
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4. Don’t interrupt
There are many benefits of listening. You learn so much about your partner. But to be able to do that, you must listen to them without cutting them in the mid-sentence. This is crucial when learning how to listen better in a relationship. Never interrupt your partner when they’re speaking. Listen to what they are saying and express your thoughts on the matter after they’ve finished. Their opinion is just as valuable as yours.
5. Remember to make eye contact
Imagine conversing with someone who looks at everything but you. Making and maintaining eye contact is crucial for being a good listener. It demonstrates to your partner that you are completely focused on the topic at hand. You don’t have to constantly look them in the eye to accomplish this; an occasional, casual gaze will suffice. Making eye contact sends a powerful message to the speaker that you are ready to listen.
6. Be mindful of subtle hints
Why is it important to be a good listener? Because when you actually listen, you also learn to read between the lines. To be a good listener, one must pay attention to small details. Sometimes, you may be left wondering why, following a seemingly pleasant talk with your partner, they become grumpy for no apparent reason.
Perhaps, they were unable to say something clearly. In such cases, people often employ subtle clues in their body language to get the message across. For example, if your partner expresses a desire for spaghetti for dinner, they may drop hints about it, which you may miss if you are not a good listener. Making a note of your partner’s gestures and body language is also a part of listening to each other in a relationship.
7. Show you are enthusiastic
When learning why it is important to be a good listener and how to be one, keep in mind that your body language should convey your intentions. No one wants to engage in conversation with someone who is visibly uninterested. You can’t just sit there and stare at your partner if you want to be a good listener; you have to show that you’re interested.
You can do this by striking up a conversation first, looking for opportunities to broaden it, or asking follow-up questions. If you’re not in the mood to talk, though, it’s best to give yourself some space and make it clear to your SO that you’re not in the appropriate frame of mind to have a meaningful conversation.
8. Have patience
Patience is a virtue and it is one of the most important factors in learning how to become a better listener. To be able to listen, you must have a great deal of patience. You’ll definitely need that if your partner complains about something that happened during the day. While listening to your partner’s problems, remember that your patience is helping them.
When you listen patiently, you allow the other person to fully express what they want to say. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, try taking deep breaths and arranging intervals for speaking so both of you can listen to each other constructively.
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9. Don’t judge
The ability to hear out a person objectively is exactly what being a good listener is all about. The speaker should be able to trust you because when there is confidence, communication flourishes, but when there is judgment or criticism, communication flounders.
Building and maintaining trust requires the ability to listen without making judgments or putting each other down. Even if you don’t understand what your partner is saying, interfering or poking holes in their argument is more likely to hurt than persuade them. Rather than giving in to your emotions and insisting that you’re right or snapping at your partner because you think they’re being unreasonable, try listening to your partner without jumping to conclusions.
10. Understand what they are saying
Not taking things personally will go a long way in helping you learn how to become a better listener. This is similar to the act of eating where you must not only consume the food but also digest it. Likewise, you must not just listen to what your partner has to say; you must also process it. You should understand what your partner is saying and be prepared to take their feedback/suggestions/opinions in your stride. For example, when they remind you to perform the tasks, don’t give them a reason to have to repeat themselves over and over again; instead, recall what task was allocated to you and get on it.
- The fundamental rule of building a happy relationship is to be a better listener
- Practicing patience while listening will tell you more about your partner
- Being a good listener can give your partner the confidence to confide in you
It takes time and a lot of patience to become a great listener. You don’t have to force yourself to be one overnight; instead, you must allow yourself to make these modifications gradually, especially if you aren’t used to listening. Communication is a two-way street; one must always make time to speak and listen.
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