When you are in a relationship, communication is one of the fundamental factors in building a lasting bond of affection between the two of you. So, being able to sit and talk, and work things out between you is vitally important to that relationship. And, just talking is not enough, you both must listen to what the other has to say, and then act on it to insure the health and growth of your union.
So, what can do you to get your partner to listen? Step one is timing: picking the right time to talk about a certain subject. Remember, not all conversations have to be about heavy, serious matters. A talk about where you want to go for your next vacation could be talked about over lunch at a nearby restaurant. But, asking your partner to indulge in some sexual fantasy of yours might be best talked about in the privacy of your own home.
This brings up another item to consider: subject matter. Not all talks have to be about serious subjects. One way of insuring that your partner is willing to listen to you when you want to talk about something very important is to not make every conversation about very important issues. If every time you say: “We need to talk” he (or she) knows it is something critical – something they have done wrong or needs to change about them, they are going to groan, roll their eyes and dread every minute of the conversation. That is not conducive to good listening.
Next, there are distractions. Turn off the television, turn down the radio, put the laptop on sleep mode, and send the kids (if any) out to play. If you expect your partner to truly listen to you, they not only have to be able to hear you, they have to have nothing around them to keep them from focusing on what you say.
Then there is the matter of how you talk to your partner. If you are just going to sit there and lecture them, they are going to tune you out. No -one likes to be lectured. Try to make it a true conversation. You talk, they talk, and you listen to what each other has to say.
You should try as much as possible to not sound like you are blaming them for something, and to also not sound like you are whining. You need to speak firmly, and clearly, but don’t demean or insult. It’s said that in the TV show “Home Improvement” Patricia Richardson got the role of Jill, Tim’s wife because the first actress sounded like she was whining when she asked Tim not to fiddle with the dishwasher in the pilot. The producers realized Jill needed to be firm, not yell, and not beg. It had to be clear that there was mutual respect between the two characters.
Another helpful hint is the idea of focus. Don’t sit down to talk with a long list of subjects to talk about. If your partner is a man, keep in mind that guys tend to do best when talking about one subject; it is just how their brains are wired. If you talk about ten different matters, your partner is not going to be able to keep everything straight.
It doesn’t matter if you have a dozen things to talk about; try limiting each conversation to two or three at most, and make them related if possible. Do this, and it is much more likely that they will hear you, listen, and remember what is important to you.