It starts with, continues because of, and will endure all good times and bad times by following one simple idea…
Listen to understand, not listen to respond.
Simple idea. Hard to follow. I had a really good friend (not so much anymore; my fault) who asked me one time while we were hanging out, “do I listen to you?” I thought for a moment. Listening, was something she definately was getting better at. “Yes”, I said.
I’m a great listener. I say that humbly. There are a lot of things I don’t know or understand, A LOT of things! 😛 But for me, the easiest way for me to be me is to listen when others speak.
My guess why we often don’t listen to understand and instead fall into the trap of listening to respond is a simple reason. We don’t like what we hear. Often our conversations are more like dual monologues. We wait for the other person to stop talking about what they are talking about so we can say what we want to say. If it’s somewhat related to what the other, or others, were saying, serendipity! 😀
Here’s a conundrum. Sometimes bad relationships can still find moments for great sex. Sometimes great relationships are great until sex. That’s frustrating. Then there’s great relationships with great sex, then the passion fades and the once great relationship becomes a routine.
The Beatles said, “All you need is Love”…
but they never said from just one person 😜
Love. Great sex. Great relationships. We want it all! Two out of three at least. It all starts with…
Listening to understand.
It’s complicated. In seeking to comprehend what others are saying, our ears filter the words through our biases, prejudices, pre-conceived notions, etc. It happens without our consciousness being aware we’re doing it, unless we make ourselves aware. There’s a good place to start.
Be aware that what you think, believe, understand, know, etc., is only a fraction of the reality that we call “the world.” Just because some people, maybe even many people, agree with the ideas that we believe to be true, doesn’t mean they are true. That’s just a coincidence.
No one’s right, including you, all the time about everything. That’s an unsettling idea. Wow. Seems like we’ve drifted away from the idea of how to make and maintain great relationships.
Not really. 😀
Be real. Be in each moment. Literally look into another person’s eye’s and imagine what they see. Hold hands. Hug. Be connected to others.
Your capacity to make and maintain great relationships is a direct function of your willingness to be vulnerable, mostly emotionally. It goes back to self-awareness. We can’t really be connected to others, and maintain that connectedness, until we are reflective and evaluate ourselves on a consistent basis.