Listen to Me! Part I

You ever get into an argument with your partner? It sucks right? What sucks even more is when you’re trying to express how you feel and they’re not listening. But maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s you. Let’s talk about it.

Feeling like you’re not being heard is probably one of the most frustrating parts about being in a relationship. So today, I’m going to teach you some skills on how to get your point across and how to improve the communication in your relationship.

The first step is to put your partner in a position to listen. You do this by asking lots of questions: clarifying and open-ended questions. You want to fully understand their perspective so that when you do speak, you’re speaking based off facts and not assumptions.

The second step is paraphrasing: literally restating back what your partner just said to you. So if your partner says, “Hey, I’m really upset because you leave all of your stuff around the house.” Then you would say, “it sounds like you’re really upset because I leave all my stuff around the house, is that correct?” Keep it simple. Don’t add anything. Don’t make any assumptions just restate everything that they said and in doing so you’re communicating: 1) I hear you, 2) I understand what you’re trying to say, 3) I’m making an effort, and 4) I expect you to do the same when it’s my turn to speak.

The third step is checking in to see if your partner actually feels heard. In checking in you’re asking your partner if they feel understood. This helps them to bring their defenses down and puts them in a better position to actually hear what you have to say. This also serves as an opportunity for you to model what you would like to see from them in return.

Check out “Listen to Me! Part II” for next steps.

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