Staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert – just a great mate and a good listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation.
Good communication depends on you carefully listening to another person. Active listening involves listening attentively without interruption and then restating what was heard. Acknowledge content AND the feelings of the speaker. The active listening process lets the sender know whether or not the message they sent was clearly understood by having the listener restate what they heard.
Examples of Active Listening:
“I heard you say you are feeling ‘out of balance’, and enjoyed the time we spend together but that you also need more time to be with your friends… and you want to plan a time to talk about this.”
“If I understand what you said, you are concerned because you want to go skiing next winter. But you think I would rather to go to the beach. Is that correct?”
When each person knows what the other person feels and wants (assertiveness) and when each knows they have been heard and understood (active listening), intimacy is increased. These two communication skills can help develop kind and caring relationships.
Got a feeling that someone you know or care about it isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts? More agitated or withdrawn? Or they’re just not themselves. Trust that gut instinct and act on it. Learn more about the signs and when it’s time to ask R U OK? here.
Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM
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