If you want to improve your listening skills as a married couple, you should not be judgmental when you listen, keep eye contact, avoid interrupting, observe nonverbal cues, be aware of gender differences, and avoid being a passive listener.
Communication is essential in relationships, especially in marriages. In fact many serious marriage problems can be avoided when couples make effective communication a priority. A lot of people also forget that communication is a two-way process. It does not only involve talking, but listening as well. Listening to one’s partner can go a long way and can make your partner feel valued. For husbands who want to make their wives happy, sometimes simply listening to her can make her happy, and the same goes for wives who want to establish a stronger relationship with their husbands. Here are some tips to help you improve your listening skills:
Don’t be judgmental when you listen
As much as possible, keep an open mind when you listen to your spouse talk. Some people already plan how to respond in a conversation even without hearing the full details first. Being open-minded means you are keeping the conversation natural and free-flowing without the interruption of your personal agenda. Being judgmental will only lead to an argument or keep you from really listening to what your partner is talking about. Additionally, don’t jump to conclusions.
Keep eye contact
Body language can reveal how serious you are to what the speaker is saying. When your spouse talks, make sure you keep eye contact and let him or her see that you are attentive. Avoid zoning out or thinking about other things while your partner is talking.
Allow your spouse to finish speaking without interruption. Even if your partner is saying something against you, don’t be defensive and don’t argue while he or she still talking so you can show your spouse feel that you value his or her opinion and thoughts. If something is bothering you or is unclear, ask questions and clarify the matter after your spouse is done talking. If you constantly interrupt, you won’t be able to hear the whole story nor be able to respond to it appropriately.
Observe nonverbal cues
While listening to your partner, pay attention to what he or she is not saying by observing nonverbal cues like changes in your partner’s voice, facial expressions, mannerisms and other body language. The nonverbal details you notice could help you respond to your partner better and deal with the conversation more effectively.
Be aware of gender differences
Studies have shown that, generally, men and women communicate differently and for different reasons. Men usually talk because they want to share information, or they are mulling over a problem they want to solve. Women, on the other hand, use conversations to build and strengthen relationships or to know something. Being aware of these distinct traits of men and women will help you communicate more effectively.
Avoid being a passive listener
When you listen to your spouse talk, always focus and remember what he or she is telling you. Clarify points and respond constructively and appropriately.
Couples should learn to cultivate the value of listening if they want to be effective when communicating with one another.