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Are you a good listener?

October 3, 2012

“You don’t listen to me!”

How many times have you heard your partner say this to you?  You try to pay attention, but sometimes you drift off.  Life is full of distractions, and listening doesn’t come easy to all of us.

According to Relationships Australia, a good listener is someone who:

  • keeps comfortable eye contact (where culturally appropriate)
  • lets the other person speak without interruption
  • has an open, non-defensive body position – a relaxed posture
  • avoids distracting gestures, such as fidgeting with a pen, glancing at papers, tapping feet or fingers
  • mutes phones and other communication devices to ensure that they are really listening
  • is genuinely interested

How easy do you find it to do these things?  Some of them, such as body position and distracting gestures, can be nervous habits we’ve bedded in over years without even realising it.

If listening is an issue in your relationship, try some of the above tips.  They may give you pause for thought, and make you realise you need to talk further about your behaviour.

Communication is the foundation of good relationships.  Best to address issues early before they break down.

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