Wednesday, 11 November 2015

RELATIONSHIP: Listen To Your Partner

Listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak. Unfortunately, many of us act that way in our conversations - impatiently waiting instead of listening. Listening is hardwork. Let's talk about it today . . .

Active Listening


Listening may sound simple but there is more to it than it sounds. It is usually a major problem in relationships. As a matter of fact, it is easier to be an eloquent speaker (like me, yeah) than a good listener.

Active listening is a skill you learn. It is a serious business because it goes beyond hearing the words of your partner to knowing what they feel. It involves discerning, observing, nonverbal expressions, maintaining eye contact, asking the right questions, giving appropriate replies and sometimes . . . simply being quiet (If I want to put that harshly, I'd say: simply "shutting your trap!" but lemme be nice. Lol)

You know I want you to be happy and remain in love. Yeah? So I'm telling you to try as much as you can to listen actively to your partner. Doing so will boost your relationship with them.

I like to define active listening as the ability to listen with your ears as well as your heart without being judgemental. It means moving from listening to what they are saying to understanding what they are actually feeling.

Personally, when he listens to me, I feel respected and loved. And when I listen to him, he feels . . . like he said the other day, "Baby, you listened as if you wanted to hear what I was going to say, as if it was really important to you. And that makes me feel good!"

I bet the same goes with you and your partner. We all want to be listened to. We all need attention. And the greatest gift you can give your partner is the purity of your attention.

Giving attention is actively listening to your partner. It offers them the opportunity to share their life with you.

So how do you listen actively?
  1. Relax. Do not interrupt when they are talking. Stop talking! 
  2. Maintain eye contact. Use facial expressions like nodding, squinting eyes, etc
  3. Be interested in the conversation. Don't be judgemental. Use words like, "oh" "I get it", "I see" and "I understand". It shows you're interested and that will make your partner comfortable. Like the Yoruba's say, oju loro wa (pidgin: na for eye talk dey). 
  4. Ask thought provoking and open-ended questions. Make them tell you more. You need all the information to understand the gist what they feel. 
  5. Then paraphrase what your partner told you. Use your own words to summarise all s/he said. It shows you really paid attention.
Active listening provides a chance of healing hurts, resolving issues and building bridges in a relationship. When someone listens to you and you feel understood, you are much more likely to trust the person, thus opening the gate for more intimate conversations. Isn't that what we all want? Yes.

Find this article helpful? Please feel free to add more active listening tips in the comment box below. :)

I hope you don't have a parrot as your partner o. Because if you do, ahhh! Your listening skill must definitely be from God. Lol

"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. And the best way to understand people is by listening."
~ Luke Ralph Nicholas

To healthy and successful relationships . . . cheers! 



Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
Follow on Twitter: @Amakamedia
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