earAre you a good listener? It’s one of my weaknesses. I over-analyze everything an reinterpret what people say and it’s gotten me into so much trouble in my relationships. I tend to always draw the negatives (when there isn’t any) and I sometimes twist my partners words. Its a huge problem, but I’ve gotten better at being a active listener by following these tips:

 

  1. No distractions: I’m always listening to music, writing, tweeting, or doodling and when I’m distracted on the phone, I tend to miss the important parts of the conversation I’m having. This typically leads to confusion and frustration for both parties. Put down the phone and give your partner the attention he/she deserves.
  1. Listen to hear: I have a smart mouth! I’m always looking to sling a snarky comeback and again that’s not only immature but its not conducive for a healthy conversation. I’ve really made a huge effort to listen to understand and not to retort. It’s challenging at times because it’s natural to want to interrupt but it’s creates a environment for a much more civil conversation, when you actively listen.
  2. Use critical thinking and not emotions: It’s so easy for things to derail when you view them through the lens of emotions. Being emotional isn’t a bad thing but often when one is in the heat of the moment “emotions” can color things and often they can be used to manipulate the situation. Outbursts and tears are fine if the motives are pure but if they’re used to discredit and garner sympathy, it’s plain wrong.  I learned to step away and not drown in my feelings especially over things that are trivial.
  3. Ask for clarification: I almost ended things with someone I really care about because I misinterpreted what he said. I was way off, like Jupiter off but instead of stewing and being upset, I called him and asked him to clarify. It saved me a lot of torment and he was happy to explain himself. People make mistakes and it’s easy to say the wrong thing or for things to come out wrong so give your partner the benefit of the doubt and allow them to explain themselves.

I hope these tips will come in handy when you’re in the heat of a agreument. If they don’t, your best bet is to walk away and create some distance before you say something that you regret!

If you have any questions or need love advice don’t forget you can always leave them in the comments!

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