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You're Not Listening. Here's Why.

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.

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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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The need for close friendships

We are social beings and we need to create intimacy with other people, for the well-being of our body, mind, and heart.

Close friendships regulate ...

Defining closeness
Close friendships need intimacy and reciprocation to exist.
  • Intimacy means being able to be fully yourself and be seen and understood by others.
  • 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.”

“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;
Causing unintentional harm

We all cause harm to our partner and the intimacy between us. We make mistakes that are foolish and unintentional and sometimes launch attacks on purpose.

When you wound another, apologi...

How to give an apology

A good apology takes two people: the giver and the receiver. An apology that heals is based on kindness, generosity, and compassion. 

The recipient accepts it with grace and, in turn, offers forgiveness. Without forgiveness, it cannot heal.

The mindful apology in practice
  • Repair: An apology that rebuilds intimacy should have three parts: you need to own the mistake, and then you need to repair the damage. Lastly, you need to vow to improve.
  • Forgive:  If you have been hurt, you may never completely forget, but you can choose to forgive. To decide to forgive means that you don't relive something that belongs to the past.
  • Begin again: Unfinished business will accumulate. Let go of the small and the large wounds, so they don't pile up. 
Cut all the contact

Keep your distance and don’t text, email, meet in person or call.

Cutting the ties for good when it’s over puts you on a faster path to healing.

  • Set up an “Emergency ...
Let Your Emotions Out

Cry, sob your eyes out, scream and yell. As long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or anybody else, find ways to release and let go of the pain you may be feeling. 

Listen to sad songs. Listening to sad songs can regulate negative emotion and mood as well as consolation. 
Accept the fact that it’s over

Coping with the end of a relationship is a little bit like a 12 step program. You will reach acceptance far sooner by staying away from that person.

Don’t over-analyze what could have been different. Your mission now is to get to the place where you aren’t battling with yourself about the way things are. Do this with compassion and don’t beat yourself up.

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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?

12 more ideas

We're bad at listening

We come into conversations with our own agendas and low attention spans, and that can be a dangerous combination.

When you’re doing the talking, though, it’s frustrating if you’re not being h...

Being present in conversations
  • Get your face out of your phone and focus your attention.
  • Be willing to receive information.
  • Be willing to engage in the conversation and to listen with the intent to understand.
  • Be willing to stay the course and not let your mind wander.
  • Bring the conversation to a close with takeaways and next steps.
  • Respect the existence of emotions and their roles and be aware of the body language also.
  • Keep your ego out of the conversation.
What happens when you listen
  • Listening is the basis for growth and advancement. You can’t advance your skills and knowledge without understanding others.
  • Listening is also important because we all want love and respect; we want to spend time with people who listen.
Listening requires mental work
We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) re...
Mistakes we make in conversations
Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.
What makes a great listener
  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.
Rekindling the Fire

Many couples have reached a cozy state of companionship. The humdrumness of life affects the long-term relationship.

It is not uncommon to lose the 'fire' and is unrealistic to expect consis...

Love Progression

As the initial stage of love fades away, a deeper, richer sense of each other should take its place, and couples can find more ways to make things interesting and fun.

Look With New Eyes

Staying curious about each other and finding things, memories, places, and activities that are yet to be shared or experienced together is a great way to rekindle the relationship.
Revisiting your past and finding ways to connect better by looking at the other with 'new' eyes makes us see many things that were overlooked earlier.

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Loneliness

Being lonely can mean not feeling part of the world despite having a great deal of social contact with others, or being in a relationship.

Loneliness can have a significant impact on ...

Why we become lonely

Personal Circumstances:

  • Experiencing the break down of a relationship.

  • Comparing yourself to the apparently ‘happy’ lives of others - seeing only their positives and ignoring the negatives.

  • Not having as much social contact.
  • Losing someone close to you.

Internal Loneliness: 

  • You may find it difficult to like yourself or feel others do not like you.

  • Experiencing low self-confidence.

Mental Health Conditions:

  • Experiencing a mental health condition can contribute to feelings of loneliness.

  • Social contact may be difficult and create high levels of anxiety.

  • You may find yourself unconsciously or consciously avoiding meeting people.

Practical ways of managing loneliness
  • Reconnect with the world around you - Making the most out of social contact
  • Spend meaningful time alone - this will develop your ability to manage time spent on your own.
  • Do regular physical activity.
  • Join a club, group or voluntary organization.

one more idea

Open Your Ears

Don’t jump to advanced listening techniques if you have poor listening skills as you’re very likely to get overwhelmed.

Start by just opening your ears, closing your mouth and looking the ...

What Someone Closed to Listening Thinks
  • How does this impact me?
  • When have I experienced this?
  • What would I do about this?
  • Where can I take this conversation?
  • What do I need to tell?
5 Roadblocks To Listening
  1. Disinterest in connecting.
  2. Long-talkers and explainers who never get to the point!
  3. Knowledge. Talkers know.
  4. Distraction by what’s next.
  5. Multi-tasking.