Marriage Communication 101: The Listener Controls The Conversation

By Team BLAM

Are you aware that a listener, not the speaker, controls the conversation? Probably not, since most of us operate under the myth that the more we talk, the more we influence the listener. If both people in a conversation believe this, the talking escalates and becomes more intense, making words fly through the air with nowhere to land.

What do I mean by saying the listener controls the conversation? Compare listening to the driving of a car. The person talking can be likened to the engine, the person listening can be likened to the person at the wheel. The engine provides the power, but the person at the wheel has the power to decide where the car will go. You, the listener can give direction and guide the flow of the conversation by the statements you ask and the questions you ask.

This is what is called paraphrasing. When you paraphrase what another person is saying, that person will continue to talk. And when you verbally agree with the talker, you cause the person to share even more.

So, why do we listen to other people? Partly because we’ve been taught to do so. But there are 4 basic reasons why we listen to other people.

1. To understand the other person.

2. To enjoy the other person.

3. To learn something from the one talking (such as learning his or her language).

4. To give help, assistance, or comfort to the other person.

The world is made up of many pseudolisteners who masquerade as the real product. But, anyone who has not listened for the above reasons does not really listen.

Stop Playing. Start Pushing.

BLAM Fam: On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “You suck at listening” to 10 being “You are an example worth following” when it comes to listening–where do you fall? In other words have you really been listening to your spouse? Do you consciously and consistently work on becoming a better listener? Keep it real ya’ll. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“No couple begins marriage with highly developed communication. It is not something they bring into marriage, but something to be continually cultivated through all of the experiences of their shared life.” `Norman H. Wright

Excerpted from H. Norman Wright’s Communication:Key To Your Marriage