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Do You Hate Listening?

Do You Hate Listening?

by: Zachary J. Lee

Have you ever been accused of such a thing?

To think that you – yes, you are capable of not being a good listener?

For some of us listening comes rather naturally and is therefore easier for us to accomplish in our relationships. But, for some of us, we lack the attention, focus, and understanding of why listening is so important to our partner.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”?

Listening is one of those things that we can all struggle with periodically. It’s also something that a lot of us struggle with on a daily basis.

You may have been accused of ‘selective listening’ or that ‘it goes in one ear and out the other with you’.

Steven Covey said it best when he explained that “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

That is so true.

Most of us get too wrapped up in our own agenda and meeting our personal needs first, that we forget to listen and learn about the other person’s perspective.

First of all, what is listening?

Listening is the most essential function of communication. Listening is processing what someone is saying to you. You are actively thinking through the words you are hearing.

Hearing is not listening.

Hearing refers to the sounds, voice intonations, and the rhythm of someone’s speech.

If someone is hearing you, they may not be listening to you. They should be hearing and listening to you at the same time.

Every couple can struggle with listening in their relationship. The challenge is what to do when this bad habit begins to overtake your relationship and leave one or both of you feeling isolated, frustrated, and not respected.

Respect is probably the biggest component and most important ingredient in having healthy and effectively listening in your relationship. If you aren’t putting down the remote to the tv, staying in the room, or letting your partner finish what they are saying to you – your not respecting them.

When someone feels not respected, they typically will either shutdown or they will go into attack mode to make the other person feel how they are feeling.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Showing respect to your spouse will show them that you value who they are, what they believe, and what they are saying – even if you don’t agree with them.

One of the best ways to show respect to your spouse is by following the acronym above:

L = Look Interested – Get Interested

I = Involve Yourself By Responding

S = Stay On Target

T = Test Your Understanding

E = Evaluate The Message

N = Neutralize Your Feelings

So the next time you find yourself struggling to pay attention or you find that your partner is lacking focus, remember this acronym and practice it right on the spot. Practice makes perfect – or at least a whole lot better.