How To Listen So You Get Heard

Listening is one of the imperatives to amazing relationships; whether with your partner, your children, your parents, your friends, or a complete stranger. We’re not taught this at school, and yet it is the most significant reason why we feel misunderstood, why we misunderstand, and why we start arguing.

If we’re not heard, our feelings don’t feel validated, and over-time can potentially feel attacked instead.  – Even when we know our partner loves us and wants us to be happy. And then a whole lot of unnecessary misunderstandings start to erupt, and resentments, and our partner (who hasn’t been taught how to listen) doesn’t understand why their beloved is upset.

And this applies to our children so much too.  If you’re looking for a good relationship with your children where they feel able to trust you, and willing to talk, learn how to reflectively listen empathically.

“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, is brilliant.  It’s relevant not only with your own kids but with your whole family.

There’s no doubt about it, that initially it’s a god almighty difficult practice to master!  The old habits die slowly.But it is so worth having it under your belt, and to use it daily.

When your partner or child feels heard, their stress levels from trying to be heard, will be eradicated.  Arguments won’t flare into fights.  Old emotional wounds will start to integrate and disperse..

Sometimes, when the listening is deep, it takes a lot of courage.  You’re essentially putting yourself aside, and walking into another’s world, and that can take some doing when the person has a different worldview to yours.

This Youtube video below has some excellent examples of how to do reflective listening.   Its for professionals but it’s just as good for the general public. You might want to start it around the 4 minute mark.   A good way of listening to it, is to pause the video when they give an example, and try and give an example yourself.  Then start the video and listen to the reply given, and you’ll start to understand how to do it.

Otherwise the book above, has loads of examples.