I want to become a better man

I'm having relationship problems and I want to fix them to make things right before I lose her. How can I learn how to listen and get myself together?

Thanks for your question. Becoming a good listener is an essential piece in being a better communicator. Being an effective communicator will almost always improve the quality of your relationships. 

What stands in your way of listening to her? Do you find yourself becoming defensive when she brings up issues? Do you often find yourself thinking of what you want to say next? Do you take her words personally, preventing you from having the ability to problem solve?

Here are some tips that may help you with being a better listener:

1. Concentrate on what you are hearing, not on what you will say next.

2. Ask questions if you need clarification or don't understand.

3. Summarize what you're hearing after every couple of minutes to make sure that you're not missing anything.

4. Ask your partner what she needs from you. Is she expecting advice or does she simply need to vent?

5. Keep eye contact and avoid using non-verbal cues that demonstrate defensiveness or irritation such as eye rolling or crossing your arms.

6. Remember that it's okay to disagree and, if this is the case, then decide as a team, how you want to move forward.

I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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