Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Partnership is all about effective listening!

Sounds easy, doesn`t it? Well, if we all knew how to listen effectively, there would be considerably less problems in our relationships. Find out why!

Improving your communication skills can be very useful not only in solving relationship misunderstandings but also in many other realms of life, so don`t hesitate and try to learn how to communicate effectively. Communication is crucial for your sexual life as well: when you learn how to listen to your partner`s wishes, you`ll know how to make them come true.

Communication is all about effective listening
Knowing how to listen doesn`t just mean hearing well. It means listening to your partner in such a way that you are really able to understand what s/he wants to tell you. Bad communication makes conflicts even worse since we can`t understand the message our partner would like to get across. Listening well and effectively enables us to ask the correct question and briefly summarize our partner`s words. This kind of feedback will let your partner know if s/he was understood correctly. Listening and understanding can be practiced by summarizing each other`s words: »If I understood that correctly, you wanted to say that …«. It`s very important not to interrupt each other, but rather let each other finish your thoughts. Control yourself at every point of your partner`s speech and don`t jump in but rather take a piece of paper and write down your thoughts. You will express them as soon as you summarize your partner`s words. Your arguments may not even be needed when s/he hears your »summary« and provides additional explanation to it.

Body language plays an important part in communication
Body language can encourage or discourage communication. Encouragement comes with eye-contact and an upright body position which tells your partner you are completely focused on his or her words. Nodding means you participate in the conversation actively and follow the speaker unless you`re nodding by force of habit (without really listening to what is being said). An example of discouraging body language is keeping your hands folded – this reveals your defensive attitude.

Control your feelings
Strong feelings are of course crucial to keep your relationship going, but when it comes to serious talks, they are completely unnecessary. Anger won`t help you resolve any issues, so take a deep breath instead of bursting out in anger, and let your feelings cool down a bit before you speak. Take as much time as you need to calm down. In most cases, as you will find out after the quarrel, it was pointless and totally stupid to start it in the first place.


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