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You're Not Listening. Here's Why.

Closeness-communication bias

Once you know people well enough to feel close, there is a tendency to not listen carefully to them, because you think you already know what they are going to say.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

You're Not Listening. Here's Why.

You're Not Listening. Here's Why.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/well/family/listening-relationships-marriage-closeness-communication-bias.html

nytimes.com

5

Key Ideas

Closeness-communication bias

Once you know people well enough to feel close, there is a tendency to not listen carefully to them, because you think you already know what they are going to say.

In a state of constant change

The sum of our daily interactions and activities continually affects us, so that we are not the same as we were the week before or even yesterday.

To accurately understand another person, we have to ask ourselves if this is really what the other person meant, and then to check it.

Trusting less familiar people

The closeness-communication bias can also keep us from allowing our loved ones to listen to us.

Its human nature to become complacent about the familiar. People will rather confide their most pressing and worrisome concerns to less familiar people because others are more likely to listen carefully, may ask the right questions and are less judging or apt to interrupt.

What can you do about it

The best way to maintain close relationships is through everyday talk. Don't just reduce conversations to logistics such as what to have for dinner.

When you ask, "How are you?" you have actually to listen to the answer. You can't assume that you already know what's going on.

Many feel isolated

In a 2018 survey of 20,000 Americans revealed that almost half did not have meaningful in-person social interactions. About the same proportion said they often felt isolated and left out even when others were around.

Electronic devices are also interfering with our ability to listen and understand those closest to us. The best way to overcome this is to put down our phones and then actively listen to what they have to say.

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  • Reciprocation means that both people feel they are seen and understood by the other person. 

“We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen.”

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Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening
  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.
Improving Active Listening skills
  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;
Communication needs improvement if:
  • You are having trouble getting through to your spouse; you talk about the same issue over and over again without coming to an agreement.
  • You seem unable to have a decent conversation...
Just Communicate

It is difficult to discuss some sensitive subjects, and we are tempted to avoid them. Other times we simply expect our partners to know what we are doing, thinking or what we want.

It is much better to get things out in the open regularly rather than waiting to have big rows that might damage your relationship.

Listen actively

Be curious about your partner’s point of view rather than trying to anticipate every situation. Active listening involves:

  • Paying attention to your partner.
  • Tolerating your silence.
  • Paying attention to your partner’s nonverbal communication.
  • Reflecting and paraphrasing what your partner is saying: I hear you say you feel angry when I ….. Is that what you are saying?

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