At the Park

Avoid Conflict by Listening

A lot of heartache in relationships is caused by saying something we don’t really mean. As soon as the words are out of our mouths we regret saying it. A general rule in relationships is to think before you speak.

Relationships

Women are just as guilty as men in saying the wrong things at the wrong time. For instance, you and your partner have been away on holiday and both of you have gained some weight. Your man decides to join the local gymnasium. After his third visit to the gym, he comes back with a huge smile on his face. He explains that he was able to cycle for 10 minutes on the stationary bike. You answer without thinking, ‘Is that all, you are so unfit’. Chances are that you only realise how mean you sound once the words are out of your mouth. What is really interesting about this is that you really love your partner. You wouldn’t ever want to hurt his feelings.

Your answer to him doesn’t mean that you don’t love him. At that point in time when you answered him you lacked the discipline to think before you speak. It is likely that you have often blurted something out while you were in a bad mood, feeling tired or stressed out. A general rule of thumb is this: if you doubt that your response is appropriate, ask yourself the following:

  • Is my next comment going to add to the conversation
  • Will my answer bring us closer together
  • Would I want to hear it if I was in his position
  • Am I going to drive him away with my response

Answering these questions will rule out a great deal of unhappiness that would otherwise be inflicted on your partner. Remember that your answer may cause him to become defensive and that he will also have a few nasty things to say to you.

It is really important and vital to listen to what your partner is saying. Before answering him, think about what you are going to say and how it will affect him. We often hurt the people we love most by saying things we don’t really mean.

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