Communicating with your partner effectively is something you work at from a listening standpoint as well as a speaking one. While undergoing infertility treatments and working on the goal of expanding your family this becomes even more important, and possibly more challenging at the same time.
“We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking.”
Patience is the key! Expressing your wants, feelings and thoughts clearly to your partner is only half of the communication process. The other half is listening and understanding what your partner is communicating to you. Now that’s where your patience can be most useful.
When we communicate with another person, we do so to fulfill a need. We may want something, feel discomfort, or have feelings or thoughts about something that we need to share. When we speak we use a method or code that we believe will effectively deliver the message to the other person. This code can be either verbal or nonverbal or likely a combination of both. When our partner receives the coded message, they go through the process of decoding or interpreting it into understanding and meaning.
The true gift, and often a challenge to accomplish, of effective communication between two people is when the receiver interprets and understands the sender’s message in the same way the sender intended it.
As a listener during any conversation with your partner try to be aware of the basic challenges that exist for the listening part of communications and work on not doing them so you can decode your partners message more easily. This will make for better conversations between you and your loved one and may even lead to a deeper understanding of one another.
Challenges to be Aware of for the Listener:
- · Being preoccupied and not listening to your partner.
- · Being so interested in what you have to say that you listen mainly for your turn to speak.
- · Formulating your reply to what your partner is saying while listening to him/her.
- · Evaluating and making judgments about your partner and/or what they are saying while you are listening to them.
- · Not asking for clarification of what was said when you know that you don’t understand.
This article only touches on a few things, with a focus on the listening part of communications. In future articles we will share information on how to speak to your partner more effectively. Keep checking back to our website for more tips and food for thought on communicating with your partner.