Effective Listening In Relationships

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Communication & Relationships
Communication or rather the lack of it! is the number one enemy in relationship.
Lack of communication is seen in the form of silence, unspoken words, shouted out statements, arguments and fights; they all have one thing in common, which is that your message is NOT getting through to the other person no matter how hard you try or stop trying.
One can go as far as saying that the key to unlocking almost any relationship problem is “effective communication”.
Of course we heard that before or read somewhere about it, but it is so much easier said than done.
Learning how to communicate effectively is quite difficult; it requires a conscious effort to look within yourself and into your relationship to identify your
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Effective listening requires that you ask yourself what you and your partner are thinking and feeling.
Listening is most difficult when you are being told things that you don’t want to hear. People tend to cut in to reassure themselves that what the other person is saying is not what they really mean; they defend themselves and sometimes they even start attacking the other person.
Effective listening requires that you listen attentively, compassionately and uncritically so as to allow room for your partner to trust you enough to talk about his/her most intimate thoughts and feelings without the risk of being judged or rejected.
Here are some very helpful listening techniques as explained by Relate; the UK’s largest provider of relationship support:-
• Forget about yourself:
Put aside your own feelings and thoughts and aim to get an idea of what the other person is saying.
• Check your understanding:
It is very hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes so as to ensure understanding, occasionally repeat what you have heard in your own words seeking their confirmation or further
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Another aspect of this type of “hearing” is actually hearing the other person’s words but insisting that you know what he/she really means/didn’t mean.

• Proving your point:
This is similar to mind reading, it involves selective listening which is choosing to hear the words that prove the point in your mind while ignoring the rest.

• Blocking:
The harder the subject is for your partner to talk about, the easier for you to block him/her by numerous forms of judgement; criticizing, sounding that they are silly, over the top, unreal, unkind, etc..

Following effective listening, talking clearly is the second element of powerful communication.
People are talking all the time but are not expressing themselves effectively the majority of the time. Learning to talk usually means finding different ways to express what you want to say. For many people to get their point across means saying the same things over and over again and even louder, this is like an approach people use with foreigners which is shouting words instead of choosing different or simpler words – Relate
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