“You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,
It would be an understatement to say arguments are no fun, especially with a partner, or spouse. Arguments are something we all try to avoid with our significant other, however they are bound to occur; it’s only natural.
It happens to the best of couples, and every couple has their own unique way of dealing with them. We’d like to take a new look, though. One couples may not have thought of before. As an art, not to win an argument; but rather to help them overcome it.
The Art of Hearing
Emotions are a crazy thing. One minute you are basking in the feeling of being next to the one you love, the next frustrated at a minor disagreement gone down hill.
The solution seems a lot simpler than we think, as simple as taking a moment to get our thoughts in order, and look at the disagreement with fresh thinking.
My favorite scene from the movie ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ is where there is an argument over the skill of listening as opposed to hearing.
Hearing our partners, like ‘hearing Jimi’ is an art form that if take the time to learn, it can help us not only handle disagreements better; but also enhance the love we experience with our spouse. Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum, rather they exist between two emotional human beings that bring their own past experiences and different levels of communication skills.
- Allow your partner the opportunity to be heard – Sometimes in the heat of any argument the need to be heard ourselves gets in the way of hearing the other persons’ side.
… so to ‘Stop and Listen’ is the first step in mastering hearing and coming to better solutions.
2. Force yourself to hear – It’s another great method to overcome barriers to truly communicating with your partner. Using ‘I’ statements (sparingly and without sarcasm), such as, ‘I understand how you feel…’ or ‘I’m hearing you say that…’; can bring back to mind your partners side and take the focus off of yourself.
3. Be honest and open.
4. Pay attention and learn read your spouse’s non verbal language – a wealth of emotion underneath what we say is locked away in it – something as simple as your tone, a particular look, or tilt of the head.
5. Sometimes they aren’t trying to argue, but just want you to listen; yes, it can be as simple as that sometimes 🙂