Shhh…Listen Up!

It seems like most people think that they are good listeners. I know I do, but if I’m completely honest, I also know that when I’m angry I suck at listening. A lot of times I may talk over people or listen to what they say but instead of trying to understand and digest what they’re saying, I’m actually just thinking of what I’m going to say in response. When in a relationship, it’s a certainty that your mate will upset you and some form of conflict may ensue. It may be a calm discussion, a heated argument or a spirited debate, but either way both of you are going to need to be able to listen in order to come to a meaningful resolution. So, my pieceTV of advice to you is to shut up and listen – REALLY listen.

My two main issues are talking over people and making a mental list of my rebuttal to every point they make. Both of these things make me a bad listener because neither allows me to actually hear what they’re saying. Of course I hear them talking, but I’m not really putting an effort into taking in what they’re trying to tell me. That makes it more difficult to find common ground, which is the whole point of a meaningful argument in the first place. So the next time you find yourself having a disagreement, try to put your agenda on hold for a minute and make an honest effort at trying to understand what the person is trying to tell you. If you’re used to flying off the handle all of the time, you may find this a little difficult at first, but keep trying. Really listening, and doing it consistently, will help you resolve conflicts faster and may help you better understand the people with whom you’re arguing. So the next time you’re in the middle of a debate and you feel yourself about to go off, shut up, calm your nerves, check your emotions and listen to what the other person is trying to say. It’s worth it.

-Tiffany Vicks

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