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If You Really Want to Be Heard, Shut Up…

…And recognize the real struggle with your partner is to hear

Illustration of girl listening to birds

Listen by Jennifer Davis

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a new client say, “We need help learning to communicate,” I’d be retired by now. (Scratch that—I love what I do.) Yet, learning to communicate is rarely the real issue for most couples. Most clients are capable communicators; in fact, many talk too much. The real issue is that they haven’t learned to listen.I recently saw a greeting card that explained the problem like this:I’m usually done hearing people before they finish because I’m a fast listener.If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that we tend to fill in the blanks of our partner’s patter, imagining we know what they’re thinking or feeling. Some other common listening filters are:Listening to gather evidenceListening to prove the self inferior/superiorListening to finds holes in the speaker’s logicListening to fix a perceived problemListening for approvalListening for an entry point to change the subjectWhen we approach our partner with such filters in place, chances are we’ll end up in an ego skirmish. This is why so many “We need to talk” scenarios get louder with no one listening at all …

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ListeningCommunicationCouplesRelationship AdviceEgo

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