Husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend: it can be hard to have a discussion with your partner. Communication is difficult at the best of times, and when there's a serious issue at hand, it can get frustrating. However, you can make sure your partner pays attention to what you're saying. There are 7 ways to make your partner listen which can help – and they may help your partner as well.
1. Don't Judge
When someone feels like they are being judged, it is a natural urge to shut down or become defensive. Even if you don't agree with something your partner has said, or his or her point of view on a certain matter, you can't make judgment. Try to understand, because judging won't solve anything.
2. Don't Accuse
By the same token, being accusatory will do much more harm than good. If you accuse your partner of something, it will make it seem like he or she has done something wrong – and your partner may not see it that way. But even still, think about how you feel when you're accused. It doesn't feel good, and might even make you shut down, so remember that.
3. Don't Make Demands
Asking for something is one that. Demanding something is another thing entirely. Be careful here, make sure you ask for things rather than making demands. That can make your partner feel like a child at best, and you don't want that.
4. Say What You Mean
It's very important that you don't play games or give your partner the answers you think he or she wants to hear. Always say what you mean and, at the same time, always mean what you say. You need to be honest if you expect your partner to be honest.
5. Make Your Point
Don't dance around the point. If something is bothering you, be straight out with it. Don't come up with a dozen other things that bother you while trying to work your way around to the central issue. That's going to end up frustrating the both of you.
6. Maintain Eye Contact
It is always important for both of you to look each other in the eyes while you're having a discussion. That keeps you close, it encourages honesty, intimacy, and understanding. Besides, it's hard to believe what the other person is saying if they're looking anywhere but in your eyes.
7. Ask Questions
You can't just say what you're thinking or feeling. You also need to ask your partner questions, so you know where his or her head is at. Make sure your partner is communicating just as much as you are, that you are both listening to each other and responding – respectfully and truthfully. It is absolutely vital that the two of you talk to each other, rather than at each other. No amount of communication will matter if the two of you aren't actually listening to each other when you speak.
Always remember, it is one thing to hear, but another thing to listen. Communication breakdowns happen, but they don't mean the relationship is in jeopardy. That just means the two of you will have to work at expressing your feelings to each other. What do you do when you need to talk to your partner about something important?
Top Photo Credit: AXEHD