ART OF LISTENING

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As a man learns to listen and interpret a woman’s feelings correctly, communication becomes easier. As with any art, listening requires practice. Each day when I get home, I will generally seek out Bonnie and ask her about her day, thus practicing this art of listening.

If she is upset or has had a stressful day, at first I will feel that she is saying I am somehow responsible and thus to blame. My greatest challenge is to not take it personally, to not misunderstand her. I do this by constantly reminding myself that we speak different languages. As I continue to ask “What else happened?” I find that there are many other  things bothering her. Gradually I start to see that I am not solely responsible for her upset. After a while, when she begins to appreciate me for listening, then, even if I was partially responsible for her discomfort, she becomes very grateful, accepting, and loving.

Although listening is an important skill to practice, some days a man is too sensitive or stressed to translate the intended meaning of her phrases. At such times he should not even attempt to listen. Instead he could kindly say “this isn’t good time for me. Let’s talk later.”

Sometimes a man doesn’t realize that he can’t listen until she begins talking. If he becomes very frustrated, while listening he should not try  to continue – he’ll just become increasingly upset. That does not serve him or her. Instead, the respectful thing to say is “I really want to hear what you are saying, but right now it is very difficult for me to listen. I think I need some time to think about what you have just said.”

I have witnessed this same transformation is thousands of individuals and couples. Relationships thrives when communication reflects a ready acceptance and respect of people’s innate difference.

When misunderstandings arise, remember that we speak different languages; take the time necessary to translate what your partner really means or wants to say. This definitely takes practice, but it is well worth it.

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