The first duty of love is to learn to listen. ~ Paul Tillich
If you want to be heard, the best thing you can do is to learn to listen.
Listening is a skill that can be learned and modeled. Here are a few simple tips to help develop that skill more:
- Turn your attention away from other things and give it fully to your spouse.
- Listen with not only your ears but also your eyes. Watch body language and try to hear not only what is being said but what is meant.
- Listen to hear, not to respond. Avoid giving unsolicited advice. Make your primary agenda to understand first.
- Show genuine appreciation for when your spouse shares his or her thoughts or feeling with you.
- Make time to be together. Regularly schedule leisurely breaks for conversation. Dating your spouse is a great way to accomplish this!
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~ Ralph Nichols
Ten Random Date (and Micro Date) Ideas:
- Feed ducks at the park
- Go golfing
- Go snowboarding
- Go to a Photo booth
- Have a picnic with takeout food
- Make popcorn the old fashioned way
- Rake leaves in the fall; have fun with it
- Snuggle together on a rainy day
- Visit a bee keeper’s farm
- While your spouse is in the shower, put their bath towel in a hot dryer and then greet them with the toasty towel when they get out
What are you going to put your date calendar this week?
A Few More Helpful Resources to Check Out:
- “Why are people such poor listeners when it is such an important skill in developing and maintaining relationships?” Listening–With Your Heart as Well as Your Ears by Herbert G. Lingren
- “We are losing our listening.” 5 Ways to Listen Better. In this short, fascinating TED talk, Julian Treasure, shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.
- “When someone listens to you well, it makes you feel accepted, understood, important, valued and validated.” How to Help Someone Feel Loved and Understood by Dhara Jani
- Michael and Kim: Communication is the Key, a Feature Couple Interview from Spouse Dates