Listening is essential in any relationship, but many are guilty of bad listening habits. Discover the seven deadly sins of listening and improve your listening skills to build stronger, more connected relationships.
Communication is not only important, but it is the backbone of any healthy relationship. And while we often focus on what we say, listening is just as important. In fact, many relationship problems are typically traced back to poor listening skills. How many times have we heard communication is the best policy?
Unfortunately, many of us have learned and developed not the best listening habits. We may interrupt, zone out, or only listen to what we want to hear. But we risk damaging the relationship when we don’t listen to our partners.
This blog post will explore the seven deadly sins of listening and provide tips on improving your listening skills. Becoming a better listener can build stronger, more connected relationships with the people you love. In this article from Psych Central they also provide tips to become a better listener.
Listening Skills in Relationships
Active listening is paying attention to and understanding what your partner is saying. It involves verbal and nonverbal cues and encompasses both spoken words and nonverbal signals, including gestures, facial expressions, and the inflection of one’s voice.
Empathetic listening goes a step further. It involves trying to see things from your partner’s perspective and understand their feelings. When you listen with empathy, you’re not just hearing their words; you’re also hearing their heart.
Poor listening can have a devastating impact on relationships. When we don’t listen to our partners, we make them feel unheard, unvalued, and misunderstood, leading to resentment, conflict, and even disconnection. Don’t listen to your inner critic or be to proud to change. You can read about your inner critic in my blog post, 9 Powerful Strategies to Silence Your Inner Critic
The Seven Types of Poor Listening Styles
Here are the seven deadly sins of listening:
1. Stage Hogging
Stage Hoggers love to talk about themselves. They interrupt, dominate conversations, and rarely give their partners a chance to speak.
2. Insulated Listening
Insulated listeners build a wall around themselves and refuse to let anyone in. This style is usually because the listener wants to avoid discussing the topic. They also may agree with everything their partner says but never share their thoughts or feelings.
3. Defensive Listening
Defensive listeners become defensive when their partner criticizes them. They may argue, blame, or justify their behavior. They may also use the information to attack the other person or go off-topic to blame them by deflecting and not allowing themselves to feel vulnerable.
4. Intensive Listening
Intensive listeners should focus more on the details of what their partner is saying. They may ask a barrage of questions or interrupt with corrections. Or they may focus on the superficial content of the message rather than hearing their genuine emotions in the meaning.
Ambushers listen for the perfect opportunity to attack their partner. They may bring up past arguments or use their partner’s words against them. This style may go hand in hand with defensive listening.
6. Pseudo Listening
Pseudo-listeners pretend to be listening, but they’re not paying attention. They may be multitasking, thinking about something else, or falling asleep. How often have you heard, “You never hear anything I say,” or your partner stops talking?
7. Selective Listening
Selective listeners only listen to what they want to hear. They may tune out their partner’s concerns or ignore important information.
Self-Reflection and Awareness
Take a moment to reflect on your listening habits. Do you recognize any of the seven deadly sins of listening in yourself?
Here are a few guiding questions to help you assess your listening skills:
- Do I interrupt my partner?
- Do I dominate conversations?
- Do I need help listening to criticism?
- Do I focus too much on the details of what my partner is saying?
- Do I use my partner’s words against them?
- Do I pretend to be listening when I’m not?
- Do I only listen to what I want to hear?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t worry. It’s always possible to improve your listening skills.
Strategies for Improvement
Here are a few tips to help you become a better listener:
- Give your partner your full attention. Put away your phone, turn off the TV, and make eye contact.
- Listen without judgment. Try to see things from your partner’s perspective and understand their feelings.
- Ask clarifying questions. Providing feedback shows that you’re listening and interested in what your partner has to say.
- Reflect on what you’ve heard. Ask clarifying questions, which helps to ensure that you understand your partner correctly.
- Validate your partner’s feelings. Let them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do.
Effective listening is essential for any healthy relationship. By avoiding the seven deadly sins of listening and developing better listening habits, you can build stronger, more connected relationships with the people you love.
Here are a few additional tips for improving your listening skills:
- Be patient. Refrain from interrupting your partner or rushing them to finish speaking.
- Be open-minded. Even if you disagree with your partner, listen to their point of view without prejudice.
- Be supportive. Let your partner know you’re there for them and care about what they have to say.
Call to Action
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To learn more, visit this life changing platform that can help you communicate with your significant other or follow me on social media for updates.
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