Relationships 101: Listening

Welcome to the third installment of our discussion on relationships. If you have not read Part 1 and Part 2 of Relationships 101, I invite you to go back and read them

In week one, we discussed replacing negative self-talk with positive thoughts. Are you feeling better about yourself and your relationships? We continued week two by discussing respect. We practiced giving respect to others without expecting it in return. Did you find that practice easy or difficult this week?

Today, let’s turn on our listening ears and continue thinking about the people in our relationships. Did you know that in study after study, people list “being listened to,” as one of the most important qualities in a relationship? How often have you heard your spouse or significant other tell you they need communication? When someone requests communication, they are wanting you to share your feelings, but they also want to be heard. They want someone to intentionally listen to their thoughts and feelings.

Listening is not just about listening with your ears, it’s about listening with your body and mind. Listening is an active process. It is difficult to listen to someone if you aren’t interested in the person talking. As Dale Carnegie wrote in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Too often, we listen to someone while we are forming the thoughts in our heads of what we will say next! Have you heard the phrase, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.”? Starting now, let’s practice: “Talking less, becoming truly interested in other people, and letting your ears grow.”

Relationships aren’t always easy, but if you continue to follow the ideas outlined in this series, you will find that relationships will become healthier and more productive than ever before. Your journey to better relationships does not end here! Continue to replace negative self-talk with positive thoughts, give respect even when it isn’t earned, and listen intentionally to people. Share with us how your relationships have transformed!

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