Among the numerous ways partners could employ to make relationships work better and become more meaningful is applying the golden rule of “paying simple attention” to one another. This could also be a part of building and maintaining effective communication habits, while holding respect for each other’s opinion at high esteem. Nothing could really be more embarrassing, down-casting and heartbreaking than bringing out your time and energy, talking to someone who is neither interested nor showing any kind of concern or attention to your stories.
In today’s high-tech, high-speed, high-stress world, communication is more important than ever, yet we seem to devote less and less time to really listening to one another. Genuine listening has become a rare gift—the gift of time. It helps build relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding, resolve conflicts, and improve accuracy. At home, it helps develop resourceful, self-reliant kids who can solve their own problems. Listening builds friendships and careers. It saves money and relationships, both friendships and marriages.
Most communication-based misunderstandings encountered and engaged by couples occur due to simple lack of attention or absent mindedness while conversation goes on. Men are major culprits when it comes to this as their ever acclaimed usual busy schedules at all times, both at work and at home have made them most vulnerable to this kind of offence.
Couples should always endeavor to put aside papers, books, phone and any other form or source of distractions when important conversation is going on. Most people are so addicted to their pets, television, phones and other devices and gadgets, et cetera that they hardly can detach from them when engrossed irrespective of whatsoever conversation that might be going on. Such attitudes break more unions than they make them as it undermines simple rules of mutual respect. A simple display of attention no matter how little and taking excuse later to continue with what you were previously doing is a good courtesy that could save several misunderstandings among couples.
Also, attaching respect to each other’s opinion, especially when discussing family matters, is not, in any guise, supposed to be an option as both couples are equal stakeholders in the relationship but operating on each other’s individual capacities. Most bread-winners in the household seldom pay attention to their partners; neither do they regard their opinion as anything meaningful especially when it comes to making decisions for the family. This is more reason why putting away pride should be the first character project any mean couple should embark on in other to derive a more meaningful relationship.
Also listening patently without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things s(he) tell you or in a way trying to preempt his/her mind irrespective of however “stupid” or irrelevant it might appear could also give the person more spirit and courage to step up better another time. If what s(he) says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but do not say to yourself, “Well, that was a stupid move.” As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusement, you have compromised your effectiveness as a listener thereby killing his/her morale and demeanor.
However difficult it may appear, try to listen without jumping to conclusions and always remember that s(he) is only using language to represent the thoughts and feelings inside his/her brain. You do not know what those thoughts and feelings are and the only way you will find out is by listening and listening attentively.
Paying simple attention might really look simple but if neglected or mismanaged in any relationship could completely undermine it even up to its point of complete collapse.