How Can You Listen If You’re Doing All The Talking?


While watching a syndicated episode of Dharma and Greg a quote from the show really stuck with me.

In the scene, Dharma’s mother was in the hospital – Darhma in the chapel praying for her mother’s recovery. The Chaplin observed from a distance at the conversation that seemed to be taking place and noticed something critical. Dharma seemed to be doing all the talking and a lot less of the listening. Granted, many people believe you can’t “listen” for response to prayer, but that’s another topic for another blog altogether.

The point here is, do you make it a point to listen?

Have you ever been out on a date with someone who seemed to do all the talking?

Lack of communication is the #1 problem within relationships and the top reason cited for the destruction of marriages today.

Communicating is not optional. It is a necessity for the success of the relationship. Not communicating with your partner – or not allowing them access to your thoughts and feelings will likely result in a hefty price.

One of the greatest needs we have as human beings – after physical survival of course – is to be understood, affirmed, validated, forgiven and appreciated. The best way to get your needs met is to communicate those needs.

In order to be a good communicator, you need to be a good listener as well. If a partner is trying to communicate with you and you’re not understanding clearly, it’s up to you to communicate that confusion in order to help them understand how to communicate with you better.

Your methods of communication are more important than the messages themselves. Your tone of voice is also more important than what you say. When you’re in the midst of a heated discussion, focus on listening to your partner without prejudice. Try to understand the message they are attempting to relay. Sometimes it’s just a matter of tone or poor choice of words, not everything is going to be an attack.

Perhaps working out a communication pattern to follow might help.

Try these helpful tips to develop better communication skills within a relationship:

  1. Partner 1 takes one hour to do all the talking while partner 2 does all the listening.
  2. Partner 2 takes an hour to do all the talking while partner 1 does all the listening.
  3. Let a full day pass and approach the issue once more – this time, make it a mutual interactive effort in discussing the previous sessions.

Perhaps following this policy a few times will help each person within the relationship understand their partners needs and methods of communicating better — thus minimizing future conflicts somewhat.

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