Listening Do's and Don'ts
- Help your partner feel safe in sharing
- Draw your partner out
- Your body language should say, "I am listening."
- Use short verbal responses to show interest
- Ask questions if you are unsure of exactly what your partner means
- Tell them what you are hearing and ask if you are understanding correctly
- "It seems to me that you are feeling ________."
- "Are you saying ________ ?" "Have I understood you correctly?"
- Acknowledge your partner's feelings
- Validation does not mean that you have to agree, it just means seeing things from their perspective
- "That must have been frustrating."
- Keep the "why don't you" and "maybe you should" to yourself
- Pay attention to what they are saying rather than thinking of what you should be saying
- Don't assume you know how your partner is thinking or feeling
- "What's really bothering you is ____."
- "Your insecurities are showing."
- Avoid using global terms such as always and never
- Stay specific to what is happening now
- Avoid, "You are ______," types of statements
- Avoid judging the process by saying things like, "Now we are getting somewhere."
- Avoid, "Don't worry, everything will be all right." types of statements
- Avoid trying to pacify with statements like, "You did what anyone would do."