Be a good listener
Listening is the key to effective communication
One of the most important qualities of a good relationship is the ability to listen. If you are a good listener, you will automatically create love. You will dissolve upsets, remove distance, and make arguing impossible. If you are not a good listener, you will do the opposite.
Notice how you feel when someone is genuinely interested in what you have to say. It feels great. You feel loved and empowered. Now notice how you feel when someone is not interested or doesn’t have time for you. Notice how disempowered and unloved you feel. Listening is a little thing, but it goes a long way in relationships.
It also creates an environment where upsets and distance can’t last. To see this, let’s look at the nature of upsets and communication.
Upsets and communication
When you are upset at someone, you can't be with the person. There will be miles of distance between you and the other person. Then you get upset again and create a little more distance. Then you get upset again and create even more. As time goes on, the distance grows and the love gets buried, distance by distance.
Eventually, there is so much distance, it seems like you just don’t love the person anymore, but the love that was present at the height of your relationship hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s just been buried by all the distance.
Fortunately, this is easily avoidable. To learn how, find a time when you were upset at someone and you told the person what you were upset about. You got it off your chest. Notice what happened. The upset disappeared and the love returned. This is the key to removing distance and restoring love.
If you are a good listener, you create an environment where this can happen. When you make it safe for someone to say whatever he or she is upset about, the upset can get communicated. Instantly, it loses power. The distance disappears, and the love returns.
Pull out the other person's upset
When someone is upset at you, the most important thing you can do is to encourage the person to say whatever he or she is upset about. Pull the upset out of the person. If the person is verbally attacking you, that’s okay. At least the person is communicating. Use the opportunity for all the healing you can get.
Don’t fight what the person is saying. Pull it out. You don't have to like it or agree with it. You don’t have to do anything. Just listen. Hear what the person has to say and hear it from that person's point of view.
Normally, we fight what the person is saying. Subconsciously, we think that if we can keep the person from saying it, the person won’t feel that way. This is nonsense. Fighting what a person is saying does not change how the person feels, it makes the feelings stronger. You give the upset power and keep it from releasing. You create conflict and more upset.
Do everything you can to be a good listener. It's one of the keys to creating and maintaining love in a relationship. If someone is trying to push you into doing something that you don’t want to do, listen to what the person has to say. Hear it fully. Then say no if you need to.
When you are the one who is upset
If you are the one who is upset, the rules change. This is because the other person may not be able to hear what you have to say. If you communicate for the purpose of blaming or trying to change the person, that person will feel threatened. When someone feels threatened, that person will automatically fight your communication.
To avoid this, make sure you communicate in a way that has the other person feel safe. Communicate for the sole purpose of removing distance and restoring love. Don't communicate for the purpose of blaming, attacking, being right, or changing the person.
The best way to communicate an upset is to find the hurt that’s under your upset and communicate that. Instead of saying, "What's wrong with you? Why did you do that?" communicate your hurt. "You did what you did and I feel sad and I feel hurt. I feel like you don't love me anymore."
Put the focus on your hurt, not on what the other person did. Besides, it’s your upset. When you blame the other person for your upset, you get to keep it. When you take responsibility for your upset, you can let it go.
It is impossible to have an argument with someone who listens
Any time you have an argument, there are two people trying to push their point of view on the other. No one is listening. Nothing is getting resolved and the cycle of conflict is escalating dramatically. Disagreements are fine. Arguments are very destructive. You can’t take back what you say in an argument. One harsh word in an argument can result in a divorce four years later. If you are a good listener, you won’t have arguments in your life.
Being a good listener is also the key to resolving disputes. We will talk more about this in the next article. To learn more about how to communicate, get the Mastery of Life Video Course and read the book, How To Heal A Painful Relationship.
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