Couple .munication A Brief Guide To Improving Your Listening

"Active listening" is a technique that assists in ability to hear the message that was actually sent. The ability to effectively listen is crucial to relationships. When teaching couples how to change how they talk to each other, active listening is stressed. Much of the time, a big part of the .municational problems that couples experience involves poor listening skills or habits. You cannot effectively .municate with your significant others is you cannot accurately "hear" what is being said. There is no effective .munication without effective listening. Without good .munication skills, there are no effecive problem solving skills. When there is no effective listening, the message sent and the message received are not the same message. Although this can happen for many other reasons, a failure to listen is often the source of the difficulty. The following are things that can interfere with effective listening: a. the assumption that it is not necessary to listen past a certain point, b. the listener believes that s/he already knows what the other person will say, and in effect, listens just long enough to confirm his/her belief, c) the listener ignores the other person while concentrating on their own response. These scenarios set the couple up for conflicts and circular arguing as each tries harder to be understood. Neither is listening to the other. What often appears to be focus or attention difficulties are merely lack of listening. Partners fail to listen deliberately or non-deliberately. To listen well, follow these suggestions: 1. Pay close attention to what is going on. 2. Concentrate on what they are saying. 3. Maintain eye contact without staring. 4. Don’t interrupt. 5. Don’t worry about what you are going to say until s/he is finished. 6. Practice active listening. Active listening is an especially helpful tool in the presence of perceptual "filters". Each partner .es into the relationship with a history of other interactions, .munications, unique meanings, and personal experiences. This collection of experiences and beliefs, attitudes, mood states, relationship event histories colors the information that we consume in the present. This emotional, attitudinal, and relationship background constitutes perceptual "filters". These filters are uniquely one’s own. No two people have exactly the same filters. The more long lasting and influential the experiences or the events, the more likely the filters will persist over time, and the more heavy the influence they play over perception in contemporary events. Practicing reflective listening can improve your ability to listen in general. Those perceptual filters can be "neutralized by challenging your own assumptions and beliefs. A couple of examples of filters include abandonment fear and ultrasensitivity to criticism. An active listening technique that is helpful is the use of the phrase, "What I hear you saying is…" This is only one example of reflective listening and feedback. Any clarifying question could serve as active listening. The point is that when you clarify a message, you are making sure that the message that you have received is the same messages as the one that was sent, or intended. Sometimes the process can still get derailed when the paraphrased "what I heard you saying" message is met with "that is not what I said", and then an argument ensues over which one is correct. Couples get derailed by arguing about what was actually said or not said in the first place. This is easily remedied by each person first and foremost ‘s messages. It helps to not concern yourself about who is right and who is wrong. A good phrase to remember for this situation is, "actually, what I intended to say was…" In trying to change up old .munication patterns, new behavior feels odd and un.fortable. Although it does not feel natural, the more that your practice active listening the more "normal" it will feel. One benefit for making the effort to practice this new behavior is that you can often eliminate most of your arguments with this simple new skill. Another is the fact that by carefully clarifying messages, you can discover your own themes in filters that color how you take in the contemporary events in your life. Once you identify your sensitivity to certain messages and themes, some of the power of those filters can be neutralized. If you know that you are sensitive to abandonment messages, you don’t have to panic when your partner says, "I’m starting to get angry in this discussion. I’m going to take a break and go to the store." In the past, instead of hearing that, you might have heard "I’m mad at you and I’m leaving you". If you have identified abandonment fear as a filter and your partner leaves in the middle of an argument, you can reassure yourself that your partner did not say that s/he was leaving you forever. When the message sent and the message received is the same message, there is less probability of self-reinforcing circular arguing. .munication exercises and training that have an active listening .ponent are especially helpful. Copyright (c) 2009 Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: