4 Reasons Your Partner May Be Shutting Down Communication
How tragic it is when listening breaks down to the point where a person gives up trying to be heard! This can happen in a relationship after a period of time when that person has repeatedly tried to share their feelings or concern and never feels heard. Let’s look at what they may be experiencing and what the listener may be doing to send that message.
- The listener is more concerned with how they are going to respond than listening to understand what is said. They might assume they already know what is going to be said so they stop listening all together and mentally work on their response. This is a very selfish way to listen because it shows more concerned about making a point than understanding.
- The listener is judgmental so the person no longer shares their feelings about painful and difficult subjects because they are criticized. They feel like they have to defend themselves instead of feeling supported.
- The listener continually tries to solve the problem. But before someone is open to listening to a solution they need to know that they are being heard and if this step is skipped than they may not be open to a solution.
- The listener is focused on the details instead of the feelings. The listener may hear a fact that they believe is not accurate and so they feel the need to correct it, when really the facts are not the point and correcting facts just frustrates the person speaking.
Here are two simple tips to improve your listening.
- Showing genuine caring: Show attentiveness with eye contact, head nods and words of compassion. Also giving your undivided attention by putting the phone down or turning off the T.V.
- Give brief summary statements once in a while as you listen: This assures the person that you’re hearing and comprehending his message. You can ask for clarification to make sure you do understand.
If we are talking about a marriage relationship or your significant other than that person should be held at a higher regard than others, they deserve this attention and it shows love and respect for them. Don’t let your partner shut down because they no longer feel like they are heard. Put your own needs and ideas aside and invest in the relationship.
Written by Lisa Strong