How to Become a Better Listener: Why It is Vital for Any Relationship

Many people think they are good listeners, but the reality is that most of us aren't. And why is it like that? Often, it's because we're too busy thinking about what to say next or how to respond.

We may be so eager to complete our turn in the conversation that we interrupt or don't allow the other person a chance to speak. Or maybe we feel like listening is just giving advice and not doing anything else, so it doesn't seem worth our time.

But here's something you might not know - there is a big difference between hearing and truly listening. Hearing is simply registering sounds while true listening requires fully understanding someone with compassion and empathy for their feelings. 

Read further to learn why becoming a better listener is truly important for your happiness and relationship, and find out some quick, but effective tips, how to improve it.

How to Become a Better Listener: Why It is Vital for Any Relationship

Why is listening so hard?

One of the reasons why listening can be so hard is because it requires us to be completely present in the moment. We can't be distracted by our own thoughts or agendas; we have to really focus on what the other person is saying.

And often, that means setting our own opinions and judgments aside and just trying to understand the other person's point of view. It can also be difficult to listen without interrupting or giving our own opinion, especially if we don't agree with what the other person is saying. But ultimately, being a good listener is one of the best ways to build strong relationships and create a sense of understanding and connectedness with others.

What happens to our relationship if we don’t listen?

Sometimes, when the person we are talking to do not listen, it can feel like shouting in a megaphone (like in the cover picture of this article), because we feel like there is no other way to make him/her hear you! But that is not a healthy way of communicating. 

The result of poor listening can often be a feeling of disconnection or not being heard. When we don't feel like the other person is really listening to us, it can make us feel impatient, frustrated or even angry. Misunderstandings can also occur when we're not really listening to what the other person is saying, which can lead to conflict and resentment.

Ultimately, good communication is essential for healthy relationships. And that starts with being a good listener. So, if you want to strengthen your relationships, start by practicing active listening and try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. It may take a little effort at first, but over time you'll see how much better communication can be when both people are actually listening to each other.

In case you are feeling your relationship might need some push in the right direction, when it comes to communication, we suggest trying one of our Conversation Games for Couples. They are a collection of many questions about various topics that couples need or want to discuss. Take an evening off with your significant other and let these games be the guide for you. You might be surprised, how far such conversations can lead you!

Communication in a relationship

So, how can you become a better listener? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Listen with the intent to understand not with the intent to respond.

  • Make eye contact and pay attention to nonverbal cues, like body language and facial expressions. This will help you understand what the other person is feeling and thinking.

  • Don't interrupt! Let the other person finish speaking before you jump in with your own thoughts or opinions. When you are having an argument, this can be difficult, but this is especially important during arguments. 

  • Try not to judge or criticize what the other person is saying. Just listen without judgment and try to see things from their perspective.

  • Ask questions or paraphrase what the other person has said to make sure you understand them correctly. This will also show that you're paying attention and interested in what they have to say.

  • Be patient and let the other person know that you are listening. This will make them feel heard, and hopefully encourage them to talk more about what's on their mind.

  • Don't worry about saying the "right thing." Just listen without judgment and try to understand where the other person is coming from before responding with your own opinion or point of view. It may not be easy at first, but over time it'll get easier.

  • Avoid distractions when talking with someone in person - turn off cell phones, don't multitask while they're speaking (try leaving work at work!), and keep conversations short so both of you have a chance to really focus on each other. 

And remember: When people tell us things we don't want to hear, it can be tough not to react defensively. But if we can learn to listen with an open mind and without judgment, it will make the relationship stronger and more understanding. So, the next time someone tells you something that you don't agree with, try listening first before responding. You may be surprised at how much better the conversation will go!

Become a better listener

Active listening

It is a communication technique that can help you build stronger relationships by improving your understanding of others. It involves paying close attention to the other person, making eye contact, and not interrupting. You should also paraphrase what the other person has said to make sure you understand them correctly. Paraphrasing and asking questions shows that you're interested in what they have to say and it also gives them a chance to clarify any misunderstandings.

It can be difficult to listen without judgment, but doing so will help create a sense of understanding and connectedness between both people. When we feel like the other person is really listening to us, it makes us feel valued and important. So next time try putting yourself in the other person's shoes and practice active listening. I think you'll find that the relationship will be stronger for it!

It's a good idea to start practicing active listening before you enter into conflict so that when the moment arrives, you'll be able to use it easily. 

Here are a few questions to get you started. After asking the question, practice listening with an open mind to the response.   

  • How do you feel about..?
  • Do you like/dislike..?
  • What are your thoughts on..?
  • Can we talk about..? 
  • Where do you stand on..?

Communication with my partner

Why we need to practice active listening?

We all want healthy, fulfilling relationships in our lives - but it's not always easy to achieve that. A big part of having successful relationships is learning how to listen to each other without judgment.

Active listening is a communication technique that can help improve understanding and strengthen relationships. By paying close attention, making eye contact, and not interrupting, you can show the other person that you're interested in what they have to say. And therefore, you are showing the other person you care and respect him/her, and that lets them feel closer to you.

It can be difficult to practice active listening at first, but with time and patience, it becomes easier. The next time you find yourself in conflict with someone, try using active listening to see if the conversation becomes more productive. 

Talk about sex

In conclusion

Every relationship is defined by the way we communicate with one another, and good communication can create amazing, life-long relationships that are based on trust and understanding, and vice versa – bad communication can cause the downfall of a potentially good relationships. So, it is extremely important to learn how to be a good listener - that will make your relationship even better and stronger than ever!

The best way to become an effective listener and improve your relationship is just by trying to do it more often and by following the tips you read before. Also, you can try playing our Conversation Games for couples that are intended for improving communication and strengthening your bond as a couple through various questions.

Leave a comment below how often do you talk about sex with your partner? Is this something you see could be improved in your relationship? 

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