Are You Even Listening? How to Talk So Your Partner Will Listen
We’ve all been there, you’re 5 minutes into a conversation about an important topic and you see your partner’s eyes glaze over; or even worse, you see the wall go up as they shut down and close off.
Communication is an essential part of a healthy relationship, but how can you learn to communicate so your partner will really listen?
1. Pick the Right Time -There’s a time and a place for everything. As much as it may feel like it’s absolutely essential to bring up that topic immediately - pause and ask yourself if your partner is in the right headspace and if it is an appropriate setting to have the particular conversation.
Hint: If you start talking and notice your partner isn’t listening ask, “Would there be a better time to talk?”
2. Name What You Need - What are you looking to get out of the conversation? Do you need a sympathetic ear to listen and validate your feelings? Or do you want your partner to help find a solution to a particular problem? Be clear about what type of conversation you’re looking for to set you both up for success.
3. Don’t Monopolize the Conversation - No one wants to have a conversation with someone who is bent on performing a monologue. Pause and ask for feedback during your conversation to engage your partner and ensure that they feel heard as well.
While these tips are a great place to start, establishing and practicing healthy communication isn’t something you can learn through a blog post. Great communication in relationships is nuanced, wonderfully complicated, and if you can get it right it’s incredibly rewarding. If you need help navigating the road to healthy communication, I’d love to be your guide. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (310) 614-0323.