Why Communication is So Important + Tips on How to Listen More to Your Partner [ Part ONE ]
I feel like people will think this topic is played out. The word "communication" gets the eye roll when mentioned during a therapy session or whatever it may be where you've discussed issues with your partner. The thing is, communication is always going to be one of the top reasons a relationship can thrive, or run itself into the ground. The dictionary definition for communication is literally the means of sending or receiving information. This means, not only are you putting out, but you are taking in. Also meaning, yes you speak, but you're also hearing and receiving. ALSO MEANING, it is not always your turn to speak. A lot of the time, we always feel the need to get our point across with our partner and ours alone. We want to speak, but we don't want to listen. When you do this, you are creating bad energy in your relationship. The reason being is because when someone feels as if their feelings and words mean nothing, if they feel invalidated, it is only a matter of time before the find the first person who will listen to them. Whether it be a friend, family member, parent, or someone of the opposite sex to listen to them, they will find that person. That never means anything good for the relationship at hand. Before communicating with someone else about your issues, the person you need to speak with first is your partner. It is never good to run off and communicate with someone else while leaving your partner in the dark. But, sometimes, that running off and confiding in someone else is because the other person did not want to listen. There is always a cause to the effect. There is always a reason that the other person went off and talked to someone else. Is their partner always angry? Always pushing them away? Manipulative? Doesn't want to hear them? Speaking over them? I mean, the list goes on. There are so many reasons why someone chooses not to communicate with their significant other and if it is something deeper than the other person just being selfish, then there are way bigger fish to fry before communication can even be a factor. Today, we are only going directly beneath the surface. I will leave the deeper stuff for another blog post. Today, I just want to address the simple act of communicating and if the communication isn't happening simply because of a stubborn partner. Communication is so important because feeling as if someone is actually listening to you, is one of the best feelings ever. It can be as small as you mentioning to your partner something you really like and then a few weeks later, they have that gift for you. The biggest smile comes across your face automatically. Why? Because they listened. A listening partner is sexy as hell, let me tell you. It lets you know that you matter and that you're important. So yes, communication is very important. Because it's not just about the gifts your partner listened to you about. It's about more than that. When you sit and talk with your partner during a disagreement instead of yelling and talking over each other, I bet you 100% you actually HEAR what your partner is saying. When you're upset and yelling and disregarding the other person, most of the time you are NOT listening to them whatsoever. Doing this can cause you to miss the big picture that the other person was attempting to paint for you. Then once that person feels as if they don't matter, they shut down. Now, they don't want to talk anymore. You know what happens after that? The next argument, they may not even speak at all. Now, you have no idea where your partner stands on this disagreement. Why? Because they were drained from being able to speak at all the last time. It's a domino effect. Once you start the trend of talking over each other, yelling, and disregarding each other, things go downhill from there. After so long of it being like this, you get extremely stubborn. You naturally don't listen to your partner. You naturally disregard them in a disagreement. It becomes natural to literally disrespect that person's thoughts or feelings. Once that happens, everything is broken. Because without communication and understanding, there really is not a relationship. How can you be with someone who does not value your words, opinions, and feelings? Exactly, you can't.
So, here are a few short tips on how you can listen more to your partner. In my next post, we will discuss on how you can TALK better with your partner.
Facial Expressions. FIX YOUR FACE! Stop letting your face speak before your words can. If you don't look interested, your partner will be less likely to want to speak. Lose the attitude, lose the heavy breathing. LOOK more inviting. Actually care about what they are about to say whether you think you will like it or not.
Create an inviting environment for the talk. Once you realize a disagreement has come forth, stop it in its tracks first. I personally feel like things should be worked out in person and not over the phone or text. Sometimes, we can't help it and that's OK! But, if you are able to speak in person, allow that. Just say ok, let's sit at the table and get comfortable first before we continue. Pour some wine or some hot tea, whichever makes you more comfortable for a deep discussion. Creating a quiet safe space to talk and listen makes it a bit easier to have the talk and also to listen. So, take a few extra moments to prep the environment for a talk, rather than getting heated and trying to hash it out anywhere and everywhere.
Let them finish talking before you say anything. Think about what you will say as they're talking instead of blurting out whatever. Sometimes we are tempted to stop someone in their tracks and speak our peace. That is not okay in certain circumstances when you're trying to resolve something with your partner. Let them finish their sentence and their thought before you respond. Even if you need to get a pen and paper and jot down something you want to respond to that they said, that is better than just interjecting while they're talking. I have gotten so much better with letting my partner say what he needs, and coming back with a calm response. Of course, that does not happen all the time, but we are work in progress. As we all should be. Working on our relationships and making them better. You can do that by simply listening and letting your partner have the floor fully before you speak.
We all want to be heard, but sometimes listening is more important than talking. Because when you actually listen to your partner, you learn things about them you probably didn't know already. You be the bigger person and start being better during disagreements. Take these small tips I just put out and incorporate them the next time you feel an argument brewing. Feel the difference in how it plays out.
Lets love one another yall, tomorrow is not promised.
Part TWO coming soon! <3
Just think of me as Cupid's rival. 'Cause over here we don't just use our hearts. We combine the mind, the heart, and the soul for an epic love experience. Stay a while.