When couples visit a psychotherapist, to describe the emotional difficulties they are experiencing, there is an expectation that a lack of communication may be at the heart of the difficulty. Some individuals struggle with articulating their thoughts and consider this to be the major problem, but listening is a key factor during communication and many need to learn how to listen effectively.
Listening Is an Art
When you listen carefully, to the words that your partner uses, you are beginning to understand what they say and most importantly, it is from their point of view. When you understand their standpoint, it is easier to have positive discussions, as both opinions are being shared.
Communication is helped when critical discussions take place when both partners can relax and listen. When you are distracted by cooking in the kitchen, entertainment on the television, or your favorite music, it can be difficult to listen effectively when you are focused elsewhere.
Psychotherapists will explain that maintaining eye contact helps improve communication. This simple act improves the listening skills of those involved because it forces a higher level of concentration.
Listen to The Words and The Actions
As an individual is explaining their side of the story, the other partner should listen carefully to the words being said and combine this with any emotions and actions being displayed. This helps you take in the whole collection of words in the manner that they are meant.
Your psychotherapist will explain that it is important to listen to what your partner is saying so that they feel they are party to the discussion and not being ignored, just tolerated.
It is easy to make an instant judgement after listening to the words being spoken, before you have time to really sit back and assess the other person’s point of view. By listening carefully, you will find ways to hear more in the words they say, which will give you the opportunity to empathize what they say, even if you are later, to disagree. Understanding the other point of view is vital among the listening skills that improve communication.