Five Tips to Becoming a Better Listener

One of the biggest challenges facing couples is the way in which they communicate. Simply put, that’s because men and women communicate differently. It’s not until you learn to bridge the communication gap that you’ll get beyond that barrier and create a stronger bond with your partner.

Essential to bridging the gap in communication is learning to become a better listener. The following five listening tips will help you in this quest:

1) Think about the words that your partner is speaking.
A lot of times it’s easy for a person’s mind to wander when someone else is talking. Many times, instead of listening, a person is thinking about what they are going to say next! It’s essential to get beyond this by actually thinking about the words your partner is saying.

2) Repeat words back in the form of a response.
One of the best training techniques for becoming a better listener is to repeat phrases back. For example, if your partner says, “I had a very rough day at work, the phone was ringing non-stop” then you can respond, “I’m sorry your day was so rough.” Your partner knows you were listening because in your response, you repeated something he/she had said.

3) Eliminate distractions.
Hopefully you own a TIVO for this tip! If your partner starts to talk with you, learn to eliminate any distractions so that you can better listen. For example, if you are watching TV, pause it (thus the TIVO) until your partner is done and you have responded accordingly. You want to provide your undivided attention to your partner so that you can properly think about the words he/she is saying and repeat them back in the form of a response.

4) Look the person in the eyes.
When listening to someone, look them in the eyes. This helps you focus while letting them know you are listening.

5) Ask questions.
A person feels they are important when you ask followup questions based on what they’ve been talking about. For example, if your partner says, “a group of us workers went to that new Italian restaurant for lunch,” then a good followup questions is, “so how was the food there?” Asking followup up questions makes you a better listener (since you have to listen to ask the question) and makes your partner more impressed with you since you have more of an interest in what he/she is saying. (this article Copyright 2007 by Joe Tracy)

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  1. Great article.

    One of the biggest things is that most guys think they have to talk to ‘get’ her attracted/interested…

    if guys would just shut up and get out of their own way they’d be amazed at the results…

    Dave M.

  2. It’s quite helpful. I met a good man on We love eatch other deeply. But, when we talk, he always talks about his business and his friends. I think I need to share this story with him.

  3. Verbal communication is, like body language, one of the things in which women have a clear advantage over men. While nonverbal signals are really hard for men to understand and produce, communication by words is a bit easier for them but nonetheless they don’t understand that the most important thing is not “speaking” but “listening”. Men should try this: 1- while a woman is speaking, interrupt her and give her your opinion on what she is talking about. 2- just listen to her until she looks at you as to say “now is you turn” then tell her what you think about what she just said. If you compare her facial expression and body language you will notice that in the second case she will be a lot more happy, relaxed and willing to listen to you. This is because you attentively listened to her when she was speaking. We all need someone who cares about our problems.

  4. You should pay attention to somebody if he or she were talking to you all the time.Respect others, you will be respect too. So important.

  5. Listening is one thing…acting is another. When it comes to females a guy should always listen and not necessarily act. But when it comes to guys, the female should listen AND act. It’s just the way men and women work – women want to be nurtured and cared for…guys want things done.

  6. The biggest problems that guys have is that they don’t use verbal conversations to spark attraction while they speak with a women. It still shocks me that some guys never felt the vibe of flirting.


  7. Men need to read this. We tend to be distracted so easily. But then again i believe that listening is a two way thing. If the narrator is engaging then one can’t help but listen.

  8. Listening is such an important and overlooked skill!

  9. I don’t have anyone to talk about this to, so I am very glad I found this site. I hope it helps me make the right decision.

    I have been in a long distance “relationship” for a few months now. The guy and me both hate onling dating, but go figure thats how we met. Both our friends/family would not be supportive of this if they knew the truth so we have been telling them we met up this summer. We have been talking online at first, then email, and phone. We used to spend hours on the phone every night. Now its not so much. I want to meet him and see where things go. I really have feeling for this guy, which is crazy to me, but I can’t deny it. But with his work schedule he is very unavailable this time of yr. It seems less and less likely its going to happen for us, but I wanna hold on and believe that love can find me. I have waited 2 yrs to find someone decent and worth dating, then I met this dream guy. I want to have faith and believe it will work itself out, but everyone I know tells me if he really was into me he’d make time to spend with me and hang out with me and start a relationship with me.

    So I am looking for advice on what to do.

  10. You can’t have a relationship with someone without communicating with them. Communication involves how we express our thoughts, ideas, and feelings to others.


  11. This article rings true on several different levels. Effective communication (and that means listening, too) is very important.

  12. Christian says:

    I consider myself to have above average listening skills, and very much agree with the observation that many people aren’t listening, just waiting for their turn to talk.

    Another observation is that women need to take some pauses in conversation. I know a lot of women who will just continue from one thing to another without giving a guy to actually respond. This almost forces the guy to interrupt.

    Lastly, a very obvious comment is that men tend to talk to convey a particular piece of information, while women often use it to make/re-enforce a connection. Men could certainly use to realize that talking to your partner takes time, and I think women would be well advised to focus on what they feel is important, and not just speak in a stream of consciousness. That being said, I think a woman will generally be much happier with 20 minutes of your undivided attention, than 45 minutes of you being there, but not actually listening.

  13. Communication is must – both verbal and visual…I love the moments I spend in just both of looking into our eyes and enjoying the evening…SA – my guy – I met via bluepont…he always is touring and traveling …but still manages to send me email or sms …he has a blackberry and sends me small mails every 2-3 hours…

  14. Really great tips. I think listening without prejudice or invalidating your partner’s feelings is also key. All too often, we only hear what we want to hear when communicating with our other halfs, that the real message is lost. At, as our couple are often from two different cultures this is really important – we say don’t just listen with your ears, but pay attention to eye contact, making sure to respond when appropriate.

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