How do you build intimacy by being a good listener?

One way to build intimacy in your relationship is by sharing your thoughts and feelings with each other and then responding to those disclosures in a way that makes you both feel good.

Being a responsive partner, and feeling like your partner is responsive to you, is really at the core of good communication and closeness. When you feel like your partner really gets you, you feel like nothing else matters.

And it is just as important that you make sure you are open to listening when your partner wants to share their thoughts and feelings with you. Don’t sigh or look at your phone or say you don’t have time. Instead encourage their disclosures as a way to support your partner and get closer to them. Their disclosures might be something small and silly to you, but it might be really meaningful to them.

Here is 5 simple steps to help you;

1. Pay attention. Listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak. It is being actively involved in the process and absorbing both the obvious and the subtle information being offered. You must have made some eye contact, exchanged a smile or two before now or you wouldn’t have gotten as far as a conversation. Now keep it up. Keep your eyes on the person who’s talking. Note the body language. Respond with your own – smiling, nodding, or shaking your head in sympathy when appropriate. Look alive. Be involved.

2: Don’t interrupt or derail the speaker. Some people, under the guise of showing interest, derail the speaker’s train of thought. “So when I was in high school…” says Speaker A. “What high school did you go to?” interrupts Speaker B. Others who interrupt think they’re being helpful.  The other jumps in with “I know a better way to cure hiccups.” Hold your questions and comments until the speaker is finished, or at least pauses to take a breath.

3: Their complaints – It might feel like nagging, but a partner complains about you because you are doing something wrong in their eyes. If you listen carefully, you can find out if they are right and change your ways. If they are wrong, the least you can do is defend yourself and fix the problem together.

4: Their appreciation – The most painful way you can ignore your partner is when you do not listen when they are expressing their love for you. They might be complimenting you or telling you how much they love you when you are not listening. When they realize that their efforts are being ignored, it could spell trouble for you and your relationship.

5: Hear them. Before you can listen, you have to be aware that your partner is talking to you. If you are busy and you hear them talking to you, stop what you are doing and talk to them. If you can’t do that, tell them that you will be with them shortly. Miscommunication happens when a person is too wrapped up in what they are doing and then fail to realize that their partner is talking to them.