Three things we do not do enough of in our relationships with others – especially our partner.
Stop. Just stop what you are doing and really give your partner your undivided attention. Going through mail, getting the kids to ______ , watching TV, cooking dinner, etc. are not allowing you to focus your undivided attention on your partner or children.
Listen to what your partner (or children) is saying. This means you are not coming up with your rebuttal or interrupting them. Would you every interrupt your boss, someone you are trying to sell something to or your mother? Probably not! Its not only about looking like your listening but ask yourself, “What is my partner really saying”? See if you can summarize it in your head. Which means you must...
Think about what your partner is saying. It is easy to get caught in the details, the words, the poor communication skills and react. Instead think about what they are REALLY communicating. Is it that they are tired and overwhelmed but are blaming you? Is it that they need your help but are too proud to just ask? Is it that they want more time with you but don’t know how to just ask for it? Often we are too busy or tired and feel like we just want to get to the point so we can move on. What that looses is the process, the journey, and the connection in the relationship… intimacy. If we stop, listen and think before responding we will likely make a better choice of response that will leave our partner feeling heard, understood and supported.