Listening is essential to all good communication. Not listening effectively means you can easily misinterpret a message, breaking down communication in the process. Good listening skills benefit our personal lives, including helping us to do well at work, at school, gaining friends, and communicating effectively with loved ones.
Hearing is a physical process of the body where sound enters one’s ears. Listening requires concentration, focus, and an awareness of the speaker’s body language as well as their tone and verbal message. Listening well means paying attention to the story and how it is told.
Listening in a relationship
A strong relationship is built when both parties share thoughts, feelings, and respond to one another’s needs. When partners feel like they are truly being heard and understood, a relationship can be at its best and partners at their closest. One of the easiest ways to be a good partner in a good relationship is communication.
Good communication requires active listening. It is about hearing what is being said, verbally and with body language, thinking about what is said, acknowledging the message, and trying to see the speaker’s perspective.
Tips for active listening
There are many ways to become a better listener. Some tips for active listening include paying attention, not interrupting, encouraging the speaker to continue, focusing on their message, making eye contact, and nodding to acknowledging that you are listening.
You should also not sigh, and look at your phone while the other person is speaking to you. Moreover, do not say you do not have time for them. Show the speaker empathy, and make sure they feel supported. Validate their feelings, and let them know you understand what they are saying and why they are saying it.
Also, be aware of the speaker’s tone and body language as well as your own. Refrain from making judgments, and aim to provide a safe environment for the speaker.
Listening and counseling for successful relationships
Studies have shown that communication is a key element of the most successful long-term relationships. Life sometimes seems too busy to chat, but sharing day-to-day thoughts and feelings, and taking time to listen to one another’s thoughts is very important for building connections and intimacy. The message can be about anything, not just about the relationship.
Communicating is vital to a healthy, growing relationship. If partners do not talk, then they will begin to grow apart. Couples commonly see therapists in order to have their stories heard. It is through therapy sessions that couples can learn to share stories, work on listening and empathy skills, and learn to be better listeners.
All relationships have conflict. Determining how you will handle disagreements before they arise is important. Couples must move beyond surface issues and dive into deeper conversation topics.
Money is one of these important conversation topics. You can discuss income, debts, savings, career planning, or retirement plans. Money is a huge root of problems for even the happiest of couples. You can also discuss children. This can be a deal-breaker for many couples, should one want children and the other does not. Discuss how you would handle being unable to have children. You can also discuss values, morals, and religion, three highly significant issues worth your time.
Does couples counseling work?
Marital counseling can play a crucial role in fostering healthy long-term relationships. Relationship counselors help couples approach conflict, assist through difficult conversations, and deal with differences. Arguments and conflict can be hard on a relationship, causing stress, contention, and leading to separations and divorce.
Marital counseling can mediate, dispense tools for communication, and help to build/re-build strong relationships.
Couples therapy at Arkansas Relationship Counseling
Experts at Arkansas Relationship Counseling provide assistance to couples in order to lower the divorce rate and increase the number of healthy, happy marriages. Our diverse group of relationship therapists and counselors build strong marriages and help couples achieve a healthy relationship.
Our counselors and therapists specialize in many aspects of relationship counseling. These include affair recovery, communication building, conflict resolution, divorce transition, value differences, forgiveness, intimacy, abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional), healing, trust, and emotional control.
Take the next step
If you are in Arkansas and need couples therapy, then do not hesitate to find help. Arkansas ranks fifth among states with the highest divorce rates, so do everything you can to avoid contributing to this statistic.
For more information on therapy sessions, then Contact Arkansas Relationship Center today at 501-222-3463 to request a free consultation with a therapist.