What You Hear Will Surprise You
Couples often mistake being able to communicate for knowing how to talk without yelling. Yet, there is far more to improving your communication skills than simply learning how to carefully plan out your words and keeping the decibel level low. Active listening is a powerful tool that transform, you will be amazed at how much you learn about their true feelings and goals for your relationship.
Clear Out All Distractions
Relationship counselors online often request for couples to turn off any distractions in their home before they begin to talk. This is because glancing at your smartphone or shifting your focus to the television automatically makes your spouse feel unimportant. It is also vital to try to clear other thoughts out of your mind. Stop worrying about that meeting at work, and instead focus completely on your partner.
Acknowledge What Your Partner Is Saying
Listening doesn’t mean sitting there in complete silence until your partner stops talking. Yet, you also want to avoid interrupting the flow of their speech. Therefore, you should provide acknowledgement by nodding your head, saying yes or asking them to continue when they pause.
Watch Your Body Language
Learning how your nonverbal communication affects your spouse is one of the best healthy relationship tips. Many people overlook this important part of every discussion. Make eye contact with your spouse, and point your body in their direction. If you find yourself disagreeing with what your partner says, do a body check to make sure you are not giving off angry cues such as frowning or crossing your arms across your chest. Instead, stay relaxed and open so that your spouse feels encouraged to speak openly.
Resist the Urge to Pass Judgment
Interrupting your spouse destroys the purpose of having a conversation. Naturally, you may not agree with everything your spouse says. When you seek relationship counseling for couples, your counselor will often encourage you to wait until the other person is completely through before you begin to ask questions. Knowing that you will also have your chance to speak makes it easier to avoid interrupting with counterarguments when your spouse’s intentions are still not completely clear.
Reflect and Respond Accordingly
Once it is your turn to talk, you may find yourself feeling negative emotions, and it is okay to say so. However, it is best to phrase this as a question. For example, you may say that you are confused, and ask your partner to restate a specific point so that you can understand. If you have a differing opinion, then state it respectfully while remembering to treat your partner as you would like to be treated.
Active listening often reveals more about a situation than either of you is saying. For instance, you may discover that your partner is expressing anger when they are really just concerned. Alternatively, your new openness may lead to a confession about something serious such as cheating in marriage. Either way, you can find a marriage counselor online who will guide you through the stages of learning how to deepen your bond through stronger communication.