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The Art of Listening



If you are in a relationship, there are some tools you need to help you be a good partner. One of them is being a good listener. Imagine if you have a friend and all they talk about is themselves, you probably wouldn’t consider them a good friend.


That’s the thing with relationships, in order for both people to benefit then there has to be a give and take.


If you only give, then you will become resentful. If you only take, then you probably won’t have that many quality relationships.

Being a good listener has many benefits. You can be there for others when they’re in need. You can learn many things. You can also be a better lover.  These are only a few things. One of the most important things is that being a good listener can help you manage conflict. 


A pioneer in couple’s therapy, Dr. John Gottman, recommends these steps when becoming a good listener:


Do:

1. Ask questions. Really listen to the answers

2. Empathize. (“That sounds rough.”)

3. Avoid Judgement.

4. Communicate respect and understanding.

5. Breathe. Breathe again. Self-soothe.

6. Be there for your partner and repeat what you listen to in your own words.


Don’t:

1. Be critical.

2. Be judgmental.

3. Be defensive

4. Engage in put downs or superiority.


Refer to this list when you and your partner need to have a heart to heart.  Being a good listener will help you be there and understand your partner. Showing how much you care by taking time to listen well can also help your partner listen well to you.

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