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Communication Clinic – 5 Ways to Get Your Husband to Listen

Communication Clinic – 5 Ways to Get Your Husband to Listen

What motivates someone to listen to another person? Understanding this question will help you work toward more effective listening in your own marriage or relationship.

1. Clear message, favorable outcome

Communicating your needs clearly is the foundation of effective communication and a healthy relationship. Marriage counselors often focus on improving a couple’s communication skills; a breakdown in communication often leads to significant problems in marriage and relationships.

Unfortunately, many couples have found that clearly communicating their needs, while necessary, doesn’t always work as planned. Unless, of course, you’ve found this mythical creature, the altruistic listener–the kind of listener portrayed in romance novels and movies. An altruistic listener hears a message once and responds as you hoped. He is always responsive, interested and interested you and therefore are interested in what you have to say. (If you find such a person, you might want to hold onto them tightly and not let go.)

Most of us end up in a marriage or relationship with lazy, self-absorbed listener (SSL). They really mean well. But they are overwhelmed, overwhelmed, overwhelmed and like most of us have their own emotional baggage to sort out. When communicating with SSL, sometimes sending a clear message results in a favorable outcome (what you were hoping for); in other cases it is not. Therefore, other methods of communication are often necessary.

No matter who the listener is, you should never abandon the principle of a clear message.

2. Give a little, take a little

This is carrot-on-the-stick communication. This type of give and take is a natural part of any relationship. This communication approach is effective for two reasons:

First, it shows your partner that you’re a giver, and this can fuel his/her own desire to give back (giving is often contagious);

Second, this type of communication emphasizes the importance of fairness and compromise in relationships. For example, saying, “I’m running out to buy us dinner, can you tidy up the house a bit while I get back?” means that it would be fair for your partner to do their part as you put in the time and effort to get dinner.

You can rely more on this approach when it’s obvious that your spouse/partner needs some incentive (nudge) to put on his best listening ears and kick his lazy self into high gear.

3. A little appreciation goes a long way

Despite the complexity of the human mind, many of us react like golden retrievers when it comes to receiving a little praise. In other words, when you make your husband feel good about something he’s done, you make him more likely to repeat that behavior.

Parents do this all the time with kids, and maybe you already do it instinctively. For example, your husband is mowing the lawn and you say, “Wow, the lawn looks great!” In that simple statement, you’re showing gratitude for the work he’s done—and the gratitude will make him feel appreciated (which in turn will more likely to mow the lawn next time…).

Contrast this kind of appreciation with no feedback or saying something like, “Good for finally cutting the grass, it looked like a jungle out there.” In this case, you emphasize the negative – essentially the message is that he Must he was mowing the lawn and his laziness made the lawn look awful. But when you comment on a job well done, you’ve made him feel appreciated, thereby reinforcing his lawn-mowing behavior.

It’s human nature to feel good about yourself when someone you care about shows gratitude for something you’ve done. You can never heap too many thanks and thanks on your spouse/partner – unless of course it’s insincere. For many couples, the danger lies in not showing up enough appreciation because they are used to expecting certain things from each other.

A little praise goes a long way in getting someone to listen to you.

4. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

I can’t stress this point enough: The way you say something (how you package your message) can be critical to whether your words reach your partner (and have the desired impact) or go unheard, gathering dust in his mental spam filter.

As a speaker, your top priority is to get your words heard to prevent the listener from becoming defensive or giving up. Ultimately, you want your message to impact the listener in such a way that he/she is alerted to your needs and motivated to follow through and meet your needs.

Example of vinegar:

“Can’t you see I’m up to my elbows in this mess? Don’t you think about anyone but yourself? At least throw out the trash!”

Example for honey:

“Life is so much easier when you help. Can you take out the trash?’

It is usually best to use the honey approach or the appreciation approach when trying to get your message across to your spouse/partner.

5. The rebuke (aka: the slap on the wrist)

If you’re like most people, you’ll occasionally say and do something that upsets your partner, and your partner will do the same (you’re only human, after all); when this happens, it may be important to address the troubling issue—in order to prevent your partner from repeating the upsetting behavior.

But what if you’ve told him several times to stop a certain unwanted behavior (for example, to stop joking about your new haircut), but despite your best efforts, he continues down this callous path?

Hopefully it won’t come to that, but there will be times when you’ll need to up the communication ante and be more assertive. In these cases, your partner may need to hear firmly, “I asked you not to make fun of my hair… that’s inappropriate and cruel! Stop already!” And you might find you need to add something like, “If you keep saying hurtful things, I’ll have no choice but to see you less.” (Of course, this is harder to follow if you live together…)

As you can tell, Reprimand packs an emotional punch to help you get your point across.

It’s best to use this approach when the other four communication methods described above don’t work (but make sure you give them enough time). Having to rely too much on Reprimand may indicate underlying relationship issues that need to be addressed in marriage or couples counseling.

If you automatically rely on Reprimand (when it’s not necessarily warranted) to get what you want, take a few deep breaths and slow down. Start adding the other methods to your communication repertoire and practice them until they become a natural part of your marriage or relationship. In doing so, you may find that the doors to mutual, effective communication begin to open.

#Communication #Clinic #Ways #Husband #Listen

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