Saturday, March 30, 2013


 I work with a lot of people who ask for help with communication skills.  Communication issues often interfere with happiness or contentment in couples' relationships.  When you think about communication skills, what comes to mind? 

Of course, it's important to be able to express yourself well and say what you mean, but it is equally important to become a good listener.  Good listening is at least half of communication.

What I find is that very often people don't really do a great job of listening.  This is true for a variety of reasons:
  • They are thinking about what they will say next instead of what the other person is saying.
  • They are reacting internally and their feelings are interfering with their ability to listen.
  • They are so focused on "winning" that they, quite honestly, don't really care what the other person thinks, feels, or needs.
Solving a problem often starts with good listening.

In order to solve a problem with your partner, it is important to sit down and have a discussion about the problem.  Listen intently to each other in order to see the problem through your partner's eyes.  Once you each see through the other person's eyes, you can very often understand why the problem exists in the first place and you can work to resolve the issue. 

Good listening is a gift to your partner and to your relationship.  It communicates respect and an openness to change.  It leads to deeper understanding, and it can lead to greater intimacy over time.