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Listen – It’s good for your relationship

Rewarding Relationships

Relationships can be extremely rewarding.  They can also be a source of stress especially when you don’t feel understood or that your opinion matters.  Communication is an important aspect of a
rewarding relationshipListening is essential to effective communication.

Listening is a Skill

Listening is an important skill to learn.  Take a moment and think about the last time
someone really listened to you and you felt heard.  How did that make you feel?  You may have felt the following: happy,
content, appreciated, loved, connected and not alone.  Listening allows us to connect with others.  It can also help to understand another’s perspective and in turn understand them better.  When we don’t feel heard and understood it
can lead to feeling unimportant and not valued. Having your ideas dismissed repeatedly can be frustrating and even crazy making.  It’s like being told your black shirt is
orange.  Listening with and to your partner can help to strengthen your relationship.

Effective Listening

So what does effective listening look like?  It has three main parts, mirror, validate, and empathize. 

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Mirror:

  • Reflect back what the sender said
    without analysis or interpretation – “Let me see if I’ve got that.  You said…”
  • Then check for accuracy – “ Did I
    get it all?”  If you missed a point,
    mirror that back and recheck for accuracy – “Is there more?”
  • Once the sender is done, do a
    final mirroring of what they said – “So what you’re saying is…”

Validate:

  • It does not mean agreement or
    endorsing the sender’s idea
  • It is about understanding how they
    can see a situation the way they do
  • Once you understand their point of
    view let them know – “What you said makes sense to me because….”

Empathize:

  • It’s about hitting the pause
    button on your thoughts and feelings and trying to get into the sender’s shoes.
  • Ask how the sender may feel about
    the topic – “ I imagine you might feel….”
  • State the feeling and then check
    for accuracy – “Is that it?”
  • Then mirror back whatever they
    add.

Mastering The Skill of Listening 

Listening can be a tough skill to master especially if
listening wasn’t how your family operated. 
Like any other skill listening can be learned and the more you practice
it the better you can become. At
Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services, we have experienced
therapists
that work with individuals and couples to help develop listening
skills in order to increase communication and strengthen relationships. If
you would like to find out more about our services, please do not hesitate to
contact us at 267-861-3685, Option 1.