Married Life

Here’s how you can improve your relationship by listening better

Learning to listen can help you improve your relationship and here is how to do that
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How to make the best use of your ears in a relationship

Life is always changing and so is the equation in our relationships. In fact, our relationships are a result of that constant striving to change or better it in every way possible. Like an investment, relationships are to be invested in with your ears! What, yes you heard that right, with your ears that listen.

But change doesn’t always result in a good positive change. Sometimes as couples, we start neglecting each other completely. We stop hearing each other, even to the extent of not listening to ourselves. We lose the patience and interest to keep conversations going, conversations that brought us close at one time, when the partner’s voice was all you wanted to hear. There was a magical time like that, which exists no more. We forgot to listen and hear.

I am going to be sharing about something I learnt the hard way, and that is ‘listening’. Literally giving your ear to that special someone as a ‘gift’. I’m still learning to hear him out as a person. I remember when I wasn’t aware of how listening can affect us, and how it can become a way of support, I would be eager to talk and vent out. Maybe in a way, he felt unheard. Now I make a conscious effort to listen and get his world.

I think listening is the greatest gift one can give another person. When he looks into my eye and tells me that he is listening, I am totally reassured.

How can we receive more of this gift? By giving this gift to others first. And how do we do that?

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Related reading: 5 ways to being best friends with your spouse

Truly listen

When I give an ear, I develop a sense of listening. I’m no more the centre of my universe. Instead, I start thinking of ways to help my dear person. I develop empathy. I train my mind to ‘shut up’. For once it’s not about me. That feeling of giving in turn makes me really happy.

Hear them out

Giving an earful, receiving a heartfelt acknowledgement is happiness too. I was in my final year of degree, when a dear friend told me that he could sense that I was not completely with him when he spoke, that I was thinking of my own replies as he shared. Drifting away in our own thoughts in a conversation is too common, as our mind is used to being pre-occupied. It’s always hard in the beginning to start listening to people, for most of us. But somehow, the most likeable people are those who aren’t full of themselves, but have a very keen sense of hearing people speak.

Want to gift something? Go and hear her out, today. Happiness guaranteed!

truly listen
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Ask questions

No blank stares please. Try and empathise with your partner. Sometimes I am so involved in a story, my eyes might well up. Here is a chance to raise your listening skills to a different empathetic level. This level might require you to practice listening more intently and not superficially.

Related reading: Too late to talk

Sometimes small talk helps relationships

I know how much you hate small talk, how much you despise talking about the weather, but trust me, sometimes that’s all your man might be looking for. Indulge him. Not every conversation has to be heavy and loaded. Cut him some slack and talk about his favourite subject or his job and see his eyes sparkle. Same for men, talk about clothes for a change. Small talk is seriously underrated these days.

Judge less

Before being a couple, and man and wife, we are people. And people judge, it’s natural. But when it comes to working on our relationship, try not to judge every word your partner says, or try listening in such a way that you are a neutral objective candidate, given her a fair unbiased hearing. You will be saving one session with a therapist. With that money saved, treat each other and thank me later.

You hear, you grow

Lastly, by listening we do nobody a favour. In fact, your partner who just opened up to you about her latest heartbreak with a friend of hers, is doing you a favour, by sharing her heart. Let’s acknowledge their pain, really try to get their world, hold their hand and silently move on.

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It’s huge; you became part of her emotional journey as a friend, as a mother, a daughter, other than being a partner. By opening up to you, she laid all her faith in you and that is huge.

Let’s help each other and hear each other. Let’s be the support we are looking for in this world.

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