I love talking to people. Frankly, I can be a chatterbox. My husband knew what he was signing up for, so he’s rolled with it, even though he’s a lot quieter than I am.
I suppose we balance each other out. My son is quite the chatterbox as well, and my husband always laughs and looks at me when my son won’t stop talking. The apple doesn’t fall too far.
With my love for communicating (I even studied it in school), it’s no wonder I’ve been able to use many of the skills I’ve learned over the years to develop and strengthen relationships with the people I love most.
But even with that, I still run into communication issues with my husband from time to time. It’s a part of the human experience.
People are more likely to listen if your approach the conversation with compassion.
And as much as I love to talk, I’ll be the first to admit that developing strong listening skills is something I had to work on. It’s such a critical part of effective communication, yet so many of us fail to focus on it, especially when it comes to the most intimate relationships in our lives.
Not only is it important for you to listen to what your spouse has to say, it is also critical for your to communicate in a way that helps your mate want to listen to you.
You can’t expect people to listen to you even if your approach needs work. Your job as a communicator is to help the person on the other end listen to what you have to say.
Here are poor communication habits that may be making it tough for your partner to listen to what you have to say.
If you are trying to get a message across but your tone is rude or condescending, the person you are communicating with is probably not interested in most of what you have to say.
Even if you are upset about something your mate has said or done, you have to approach the conversation in a way that makes the other person feel like they at least have a chance to make their own point. If someone feels condemned before they even respond, they won’t have much interest in listening to what you have to say at all.
Your Body Language
Nonverbal cues are just as important in communication as verbal cues are. Crossed arms and rolling eyes definitely don’t make me feel like listening to anyone. I’m sure you feel the same way.
You have the right to be pissed off, but your mate also has the right to tune you out when they feel like you’ve started the conversation in a combative way. If you want to be heard, try to be more aware of your body language and what it might be conveying.
Your spouse just got home form a 12-hour workday and you want to have a deep discussion that you never finished over the weekend. That is what I call poor timing. Although I understand the desire to wrap the conversation up and resolve things, I also know that people are not great communicators when they are exhausted.
The likelihood of engaging in a productive conversation where you feel heard is pretty slim if your mate is exhausted, stressed out, or overwhelmed. Finding the right time to have certain discussions can be really tough, but remember that the timing of it all really does matter.
Your Opening Statement
No one wants to talk when you start off by saying, “we really need to talk.” Try to ease into the conversation in a way that feel natural and avoid making your mate feel like they are about to engage in a discussion they may not want to have.
Also, try to maintain a positive attitude and don’t start with pointing fingers. People are more likely to listen if your approach the conversation with compassion.
Picking the right location for a conversation can be hard. It depends on what the conversation is about, how long it might take, and how emotionally intense the topic is.
It’s better for both parties to listen during any discussion if it takes place in an environment that is conducive to a healthy conversation. Choose your environment with care.
BMWK family, are you communicating in a way that encourages your mate to listen to you?