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Do You Have Good Listening Skills?

Aug 18, 2007
Have you ever said "Are you listening to me?" to someone standing right there in front of you that can obviously hear what you've got to say, but you still get the impression that they aren't listening to you? This happens frequently in relationships when both partners have their own things going on in their heads and even though they have their partner talking to them, they are listening to their mind running down a list of what else they need to do that day, or when their next deadline is, or whether there's enough milk for breakfast etc.

This isn't listening! Listening means that you give your full attention to the person who is speaking to you - and as quick as you are to identify when someone else isn't listening to you, do you know how you are at listening to someone else?

Hearing and listening aren't the same thing. If you are listening to someone, you do more than hear their voice! You actually hear the words and take in what they're talking about - even if you're not really interested in what they're talking about. Listening not only means that you know what they're saying, but it implies that you respect the person enough to stop the other thoughts in your head and focus on what they have to say.

Think about how you interact with your partner. Do you listen to what they have to say? If they ask you a question about it, are you able to answer without fumbling for a generic answer because you didn't actually take in what they were telling you? This isn't showing respect for your partner, nor is it showing your partner that you care enough about them enough to take the time to listen.

Even if you've heard the same story before, or it's an ongoing work saga that bores you to tears, show your partner that you're listening to them by asking questions in appropriate places. Ask about the situation they talk about at a later time. It's not necessary to be interested in the topic that your partner is talking about, it's just important that they feel you validate their presence by listening to it!

Listening is an active verb, not a passive one. Exercise your ears, and focus your attention to what's important - your partner - by listening to what they've got to say rather than switching off when they begin to talk. You may not be interested in the topic, but you should be interested enough in your partner to make them want to know that you aren't making a mental shopping list when they are talking to you!
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs a site called along with info on dating and relationship on her blog at at http://www.Hot-Firefighters.com/blog2
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