Are your fights getting out of hand? Try this…Couples Communication Rule One- The Art Of Listening! Most people enter into an argument with their own agenda. “I want you to hear my side, agree with me, and admit you are wrong.” Often what accompanies that is a world of bullying, yelling and replays of the past. So, the first thing I teach my clients is to listen to their mate, then acknowledge they hear what was said. “What, Shauna? Acknowledge them? No way! That would give them the advantage in the fight! I can’t do that!” You can and you should! The true goal of couple’s fighting is to work out an issue or fix the problem. Whether you are fighting over money, how to raise the kids, someone hurting someone else’s feelings, it doesn’t matter. You both have a right to speak your side and be heard.
Listening is not an easy thing to do. It takes a level of willingness to step back, breath and hear what the other person is saying. But if you truly love this person and want the relationship to grow, then you can use that as your incentive to let the ego go and LISTEN. Listening does not mean that you agree with them. Listening means that you respect your mate enough to at least hear what they have to say. After all, don’t you want the same respect?
When we let down our defense mechanisms long enough to practice this fine art of arguing, then we tend to stay in the moment, not bringing up the past. We keep our anger under control and focus more clearly on what is being discussed. Listening is not giving in. Listening is the ability to keep your ego in check and fight fair. In the end the scars from the fight are much less, the healing quicker and the answers more of a reflection of what is right for the health of the marriage. RULE #1 LISTEN!