How well do you communicate to your partner and respond to their needs? Surprising as it sounds, the secret lies in these two words: Active Listening!
What is active listening?
Active listening means fully focusing on what your partner is saying, demonstrating that you are genuinely paying attention, providing the necessary feedback, holding off on forming judgments, and responding in the most fitting way.
How does this work?
Simply put, let’s call it “conscious communication.” It involves three main steps of active listening to understand your partner’s needs.
Step #1: Mirroring
This is the first step to grasp your partner’s needs. It means pausing in a conversation to clarify what you heard them say. For example, you might repeat what they said to confirm if it’s accurate and precisely what they meant. You can also ask them to share more about a statement or topic to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Step #2: Validation
Validation means affirming what your partner said. It can be as simple as saying, “that makes a lot of sense to me now.” The goal is to show them they are correct and encourage them to share more about their concerns. You can also ask for clarification if there’s something you didn’t understand
Step #3: Empathy
To understand your partner’s needs, you need to show that you understand their feelings. For example, if your partner is unhappy about your late-night errands taking away quality time, you can express empathy by saying you can imagine how it feels to be left alone with the children when you should be together.
By following the three steps – Mirroring, Validation, and Empathy – you open the door to a stronger connection with your partner. It’s not just about words; it’s about being there, acknowledging their thoughts, and understanding their feelings. As you start this journey of conscious communication, you create a relationship based on understanding, support, and the magic of truly listening to each other.