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Listening skills will strengthen a relationship

Marriage therapist Jill White-Huffman says changing the way you listen can change and strengthen relationships.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Why is listening so important within a relationship

-It helps the couple to feel heard and understood.

-It prevents mind-reading; to avoid making assumptions.

 What happens when couples lack the ability to communicate?

-It increases suffering for the partner who is sharing their feelings and/or concerns.

-More than often, the partner sharing the information does not want advice. They are just looking for a safe place to vent.

-Be Mindful: It is never a good idea to associate the sharing of feelings and concerns with underlying verbal attacks if the conversation piece relates to concerns regarding your relationship.

What are helpful ways to improve listening?

-Sit with one another, avoid distractions, use eye contact, and try not to interrupt one another. However, when time permits provide feedback. Sometimes it may happen on the same day, or you may have to patiently wait for another time.

-While sitting, the partner who is not sharing, remains fully present and takes conscious breathes, and makes subtle nods. You may begin to notice your partner starting to calm down.

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