In this article we will be considering how important it is to listen. We will focus a great deal on learning to listen to each other and how to love your partner simply by actively listening to them.
But first I want to address another very important act of listening, and that is, listening to yourself. When most people hear the phrase listen to yourself they associate it with listening to their heart. That is also a good and wonderful thing, but the listening I want you to focus on at this moment is the listening that requires you to listen to the words, inflection, and tone as you speak to your partner.
When couples come to my office it isn’t usually isn’t because they are not talking, it is usually because the talking they are doing is sarcastic, aggressive, accusative, insulting, angry or passive-aggressive. They are arguing instead of talking and the words they are using are not building the relationship up, instead they are tearing the relationship down.
One of my favorite lines from one of the Rush Hour movies was when one of the characters slowly and affectedly asked, “Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?” The first important step this week is to stop and listen to the words coming out of your mouth. Listen carefully for their tone.
Do you sound sarcastic? - “Uh huh, this behavior right here, is definitely one of the reasons I love being with you.”
Do you sound demeaning? - “I don’t know how you could be any more of an idiot?”
Do you sound aggressive? - “You make me so mad I want to hit something.”
Do you sound passive-aggressive. - “Never mind. I have gotten used to it. I don’t know why I expect anything different. You are always too busy to help me when I need it.”
Listen to yourself. Would you want your partner to talk to you like you talk to them?
Personality and relationship expert Dawn Billings is the founder of RelationshipHelp.com and the creator of the comprehensive ONLINE relationship programs RelationshipHelpAtHome.com and is the executive director of the RelationshipHelpResort.com in Arizona where she hosts private couples retreats to help people strengthen and heal their broken relationships. Dawn is the author and architect of the Primary Colors Relationship Personality Tests and Insight Tools licensed and widely used by relationship experts around the nation.