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You never listen to me!
Have you ever heard that statement from your spouse in the middle of a heated argument? Are the two of you constantly arguing about the same things all the time? Want to know how to solve all the arguments and be a better spouse? Well, here are 3 tips to help you listen to your spouse better and have positive results in communication.
Don’t Take Things Personal
I know that every argument can feel like a personal attack against you, but it does not have to. To take it personally is to be easily offended or upset by something someone said or did. Do not be easily offended. Listen attentively to what your spouse has to say until they are through talking. If you do not take it personally, it helps to diffuse the matter quicker. Additionally, do not listen with the objective of having to ‘say your piece’ or interject. It only makes your spouse feel dismissed and prolongs the argument.
Listen for The Emotion
When you are listening to your spouse, your job is to ensure that you heard the correct message they tried to express to you. Conflict comes because somehow someone’s feelings were hurt along the way. And in most cases, the issue is more about how a person felt about a situation, more than the situation itself. An emotion they may share can be hurt, insecurity, sadness, being scared, and a host of others. When you listen for the true underlined emotion being expressed, then you are able to get to the heart of the matter. Listen to their heart.
Reflect What You Heard
Let your spouse know what you heard by reflecting on the emotion they shared with you. Reflecting to your spouse exactly what you heard them say is like holding up a mirror that prevents miscommunication. To do this, you simply restate the emotion they expressed by using a mild statement such as, “So it sounds like you feel…” or “I think you’re saying…” Your reflection of your spouse does not have to be perfect. If you miss the mark, it is ok. Your spouse will more than likely correct you, and this will provide a clearer understanding of how they feel. Speak to their feelings. This helps them to feel heard and shows that you are listening.