In my last post, I started a discussion on the Power of Communication in a relationship/marriage situation. I want to round up that chat on the need to develop a listening attitude coupled with the importance of being able to articulate and convincingly express yourself to your partner. It bears repeating again that you have not truly communicated until what you are saying to your spouse is fully understood in the context of what you said.
One of the basic elements of getting across to yourpartner in the process of communication is the art of listening. Many of us do not really listen to our spouses and partners. We hear them say things, but we really do not listen. And if you have not paid close attention and got your heart and mind involved in what has been said through the art of effective listening, your response to whatever was said would be wrong. Therein lies the reason for many conflicts in relationships and marriages.
In Listening, two critical issues are important for every couple. They are patience and maturity. Anyone desirous of having a great relationship and/or marriage must develop the art of effective listening by learning to be patient when the other party is talking. Listening in this context does not mean passive silence but in analyzing what the person is saying and applying your knowledge of how he or she communicates, reading the mind of the person while reading between the lines in order to actually pick up what he or she is saying. All of these takes patience. In most cases, when your wife or lady is speaking, there are a lot of things that are unsaid that you must decode and also demystify and declassify! Guys must be ready to study their spouses to understand even things not said! That may sound funny and unfair but that is the make-up of ladies. It’s the reason why when you ask them what the matter is with them, they simply have an answer in “nothing”. You must be naive to accept that there is actually “nothing”. Listening in the right way should tell you that you must exercise patience to carefully extract whatever is not said out of them and the problem is half-solved!
Maturity is another virtue that we must cultivate in the art of listening as we seek to communicate effectively. If you are patient enough, it is a sign of maturity in itself. Matured people do not just jump into conclusions after listening to you. They weigh all the angles especially if it is a crisis situation. They are careful to speak, knowing that words once spoken, cannot be retrieved. A matured person can listen to you and decide to decline comment until he or she has fully digested what was said and how it was said. If you lack maturity, you will always want to respond immediately. Immature people are those who do not even listen to what you are saying but are only waiting for you to round up what you have to say and then they will say “their own”. Its almost like they love listening to themselves. Nothing can be more selfish and relationship and marriage that should work is selflessness inclined.
Expression is another aspect in spousal communication that we must ensure we get right. Many people do not know how to talk. That is as straight as I have said it. They just drop whatever comes to their mind without first of all weighing its implications before speaking. There is always an appropriate time for saying some things. A nice thing said at an inappropriate time is as good as a bad thing spoken. Why is expression this vital to communication? It is because that is the avenue by which the mind of a person is known. If you do not speak at all, its almost impossible for someone to know what you are pondering over in your mind. Learn to speak your mind but know when to say it and how to get it out of your mouth.
Trust and true friendship are critical elements in result-oriented expressions. A couple that trust each other and who are friends have little problems in how they express themselves. When you trust someone you tend to take the person for granted in a positive way knowing that the person will always understand what you mean even if you have spoken a word or two out of tune. The friendship you enjoy with your spouse will ensure that you speak to him or her the way you would speak to a friend and would be careful not to cause any offense. Any time you truly express yourself before anyone, you become vulnerable; and it takes real trust for you to put yourself in that position. However, because no relationship can thrive without such a sincere expression, you must learn the best way to do it especially with someone you love as a spouse!
It is my ultimate desire that those in relationships and couples in marriages would take a word or two from this post and light up their relationship as they communicate more effectively.