Are you a good listener?
Most of us like to think we can listen well, but do we really?
Do you know if you are really listening and taking in what your partner says or are you already doing something else?
Be honest and see if any of the following sounds familiar.
- Listening and already thinking about what you are gong to say next
- Listening and feeling so angry, upset – fill in any emotion – that you don’t really hear the other but only feel yourself.
- Listening but your attention is already on all the emails you still need to send or what you need to get for dinner.
- Listening and filling in the sentence for the other – you think you know what is coming
Just as we are seeing the world through our specific lenses, we also listen through our specific filters. So you may be listening and expecting to be criticised and you hear what is being said as a criticism. It is likely you may get tense, ready to defend yourself.
You may feel your partner never hears you properly and you want to get your word in to make sure that this time they do hear you, so you interrupt them.
Maybe you are listening to your partner with disregard – not taking seriously what they are saying, your tone of voice and body language would surely show this.
The above happens of course particularly when you have the difficult conversations with your partner. If it touches something deep-seated in you it is likely to surface regularly. And if this is going on for both of you, you can imagine that the conversation will quickly spiral into an argument.
Next time when you have a conversation with your partner try the following:
- Listen and notice your breath. This helps you to stay more grounded and with yourself. It gives you more space and you will be less likely to act on your impulses straight away.
- Pay attention to your partner when they are speaking, what is their tone of voice? What is their body language? What emotions are there? This will give you a lot of information about your partner and what is happening for them.
- Pay attention to yourself. Notice what happens in your body, do you clench your firsts or your jaw? Do you feel butterflies in your stomach? What emotion come up for you? What are your thoughts? This will make your reactions clearer and the more clear they become the quicker you will be aware that you feel provoked.
The above is an ongoing practice as it is a skill that you can build up. You keep part of your attention on you and part on your partner.
Breathing helps in any stressful situation. Can you let your out breath slowly lengthen as this helps your body to relax. When you feel more relaxed you feel less the need to react, to become defensive or start attacking.
If you struggle with the difficult conversations with your partner, or you notice the same patterns coming up leading to the same arguments do get in touch.
I can help you release deep seated patterns and wounds so you can have the difficult conversations with ease.
I offer a free consultation which you can book here