Lessons Learned, Relationships

Lesson 1: Learn to actively listen

There is a big difference between hearing what was said and actually listening.  It is so easy to confuse the two.  It is also easy to get distracted.  Maybe it is even just by the sound of her beautiful voice.  News flash.  The words coming out are important too.  You might want to consider hanging on to them.  Especially over time.  As time goes on, it becomes easy to lose track of things.  Something that is said and doesn’t come up again for a long time.  The message can get lost because not enough importance was placed on it.  Things you didn’t know you were expected to remember.  Even if the importance of it was never emphasized.  

In a relationship, in love, everything is important.  It doesn’t matter if it is a deep conversation or a quick statement while out in public.  A quick little, “Oh my gosh I love that shirt,” or “I have always wanted to go see my sports team play against their biggest rival in our stadium,” may not seem like much at face value.  Maybe you assume it is just something the opposite sex always says.  It is easy to overlook these or brush them aside.  

Take notice.  These are opportunities.  No matter how small.  Opportunities to show that you were listening.  Showing up with that exact shirt on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, or Christmas.  Randomly whipping out a pair of game tickets and surprising them before dinner.  It doesn’t matter.  The message they receive is clear and of immense value.  You love them.  You care.  You care about what they want and what they have to say.  Most importantly, you are listening to them and they matter.  What they say matters.

Listen.  Learn.  Remember.  No matter how big or small.  There are few things in a relationship that matter more than listening.  No matter how many times you say “I love you.”  No matter how much you think or know you mean it.  The words don’t possess nearly as much value unless they are accompanied by the actions that demonstrate they are more than just words.  Listening matters.

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