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 be able 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 stem from the impression that one or both partners are not being heard. 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, everyone 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 know who they are. Here are some reasons why it is important to be a good listener in a relationship:
1. Listening helps to create 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 and allow 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 speaking, 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.
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 entire attention and set aside your own agenda and properly listen. Being free to speak without being interrupted is a liberating experience for many individuals.
Consider it as if you were 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. Allowing a wounded person to speak up can also be like letting steam out of a pressure cooker. Finding a solution to the hurt is just as important as finding a way to express your feelings. Listening well is a two-way street. 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:
Related Reading: 5 Ways To Being Best Friends With Your Spouse
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 or girlfriend or partner.
2. Remember communication is a two-way street
What does it mean to be a good listener? Knowing when to stop talking. As previously stated, communication is two-way: when one person speaks, the other listens. Every now and then, their roles are switched. When these roles are not exchanged at all, and just one person speaks and the other listens, a dispute emerges. Keep in mind that you must know when to stop speaking. Unless these roles are regularly swapped between two people in a relationship, good communication can never be achieved.
3. Be attentive
A crucial step in your journey of learning how to become a good listener is to practice being an attentive listener. Let go of other 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 crucial.
This demonstrates that you respect the speaker and are attentive while listening to your partner. 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.
Related Reading: Too Late To Talk
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 the person who is speaking.
Listen to what he or she is saying and express your thoughts on the matter after the person has finished. His or her opinion on the subject is just as valuable as yours. When you interrupt someone who is speaking, you are being impolite. People can become so engrossed in a topic that they cut off other people; if you find yourself in this situation, tell yourself to hold your horses and allow others to take their turn.
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 girlfriend or boyfriend that you are completely concentrated on the topic at hand. You don’t have to constantly look them in the eye to accomplish this; depending on the situation, a simple casual gaze will suffice. Making eye contact with the person speaking also 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 could be wondering why, following a pleasant talk with your partner, he or she becomes 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, she 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 how to be a good listener, keep in mind that your body language should match your intentions. It’s never a good idea 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 spouse 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, it is highly recommended that you take deep breaths and arrange time intervals for speaking so both of you can listen to each other constructively.
Related Reading: What To Look For In A Relationship? The Ultimate List Of 15 Things
9. Don’t judge
The ability to hear out a person objectively is exactly why it is important to be a good listener. 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 them than to 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
When learning how to become a better listener, people often suggest not to take things personally. However, when you are listening to your partner, that is not the case. 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 he or she has to say; you must also internalize 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 duty was allocated to you. This demonstrates that you not only listen but also put what you’ve learned in your chats into practice in your relationship.
It takes time and a lot of patience to become a great listener. You don’t have to force yourself to be one; 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.