Enter a skill called “active listening.” Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust. Reflecting Instead of just repeating, reflect the speaker’s words in terms of feelings — for example, “This seems really important to you. Share pertinent information, observations, insights, and experiences. Emotion labeling Putting feelings into words will often help a person to see things more objectively. By learning the skills below, you will become a better listener and what the other person is saying — not just what you think they are saying or what you want to hear. To help the person begin, use “door openers” — for example, “I’m sensing that you’re feeling frustrated. We all go through our daily lives engaging in many conversations with friends, co-workers, and our family members. An I-message lets the person know what you feel and why — for example, “I know you have a lot to say, but I need to. Consequences Part of the feedback may involve talking about the possible consequences of inaction. Quick reassurance, saying things like, “Don’t worry about that.” 3. But most of the time, we don’t listen as well as we could or sometimes should. Take your cues from what the person is saying — for example, “What happened the last time you stopped taking the medicine your doctor prescribed? Advising — “I think the best thing for you is to move to assisted living.” 4.
Poor approaches to communication, on the other hand, can exacerbate problems.
My thoughts about "what not to say" apply to both men and women, but some men thought it was going to take away something that the male role holds dear.
Many men thought I was doing a "hit job" on men and blaming men for every problem in a relationship.
And, of course, rationality and problem-solving are also important.
(It's ironic that some people might think that I don't care about rationality and problem-solving. ) If you want to get a sense of the irrational way that we can think about our relationships, check out my post, "The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets." I try to describe a number of common negative patterns of thinking that are ultimately self-defeating and I suggest a few different ways to think about your relationship.