(Listening In Love - Part 2)
Listening in relationship is what I’ll call ‘Emotional Listening’. Your husband/wife is not just another person you’re trying to communicate with; they expect a deeper level of understanding in situations others would regard as ordinary. They expect both sympathy and empathy as a result of your listening or taking adequate action as a proof of love.
Ella and Ernest have been seen to be a good couple but no one knows the pains in Ella’s heart as she daily fights with feelings that her husband does not truly love her. She just lost her father who did all the work of bringing her up from childhood after the early demise of her mom.
It’s such an emotional blow, too strong for her to contend with, so she turned to her husband and lamented how much she’ll miss her father and what he meant to her. Ernest, instead of listening to his wife emotionally, brought logic to the whole matter and rather got her more wounded.
He told her she was old enough to look after herself and family. Reminding Ella of how mature and organised she is expected to be in times like this is the last thing she ever wanted to hear from a husband.
May be a priest/pastor would be tolerated but she needed her man to feel what she was feeling and reassure her of his love. When she broke down and told the husband “you’ve never been there for me in times of need”, the man felt really insulted.
Now, the truth is this, women are principally emotional beings while men deal with and understand logic. This does not mean that men do not have emotions or women are illogical; it simply tells us the areas they do better.
The use of the word “never” by Ella made Ernest to be automatically defensive and in fact tempted to recall instances he’s gone out of his way to make her happy but indeed, the point Ella was making is something like: “I’ll love to have your full support and love now that my father is dead”.
All Ernest needed to do was; hold his wife closely and assure her he’ll do more than what her father ever did for her and she would be fine. This is where men have problems with women in relationships.
A woman expects you to read her mood, mind and statement and come up with a favourable answer while a man tells you what he means and waits for your response. Sometimes, when a woman tells you no, she simply wants to see you persevere and show more interest in her.
A man on the other hand can utterly misunderstand a woman’s smile to mean “I’m dying for you” when she has no such intentions at all. Whatever the case, we need to be careful in our relationships and let love govern our actions and reactions; this way, things would be easier to handle even when we’ve been misunderstood or insulted. Listening is harder in conflict or disagreement situations. Passing and receiving information from others may sound simple but this is where we’ve all missed it in life be it at work, play or home.
Listening should not only be limited to the words people are speaking but should be extended to the solution they desire. Emotional listening involves evaluating feelings and trying to understand the need of the speaker.
To be a good listener, you should: Listen with your whole attention —eye contact, facial expressions, voice, nodding and all necessary gestures. Listen with respect, listen without thinking of what to defend, listen to feelings/fears or trouble areas and try not to judge.
When your listening is right, your response is very likely to be accurate.
Credit: Aidy Thomas, Culled from PM News