Why do so many couples have a challenging time discussing money, sex, and parenting? Becoming reactive and arguing instead of truly listening and understanding with empathy, regarding where the other person is coming from is crucial toward progressive, constructive problem-solving. People yearn to be heard, appreciated, accepted and loved, without judgement or condemnation, allowing them to just be themselves. Listening allows individuals the opportunity to process their thoughts, subsequently finding solutions to their own dilemmas. Why do we feel it necessary to be right instead of happy?

Active listening suspends judgement and ego, focusing completely on the other person, without thinking about our own agenda and responses. Forget about paraphrasing and say nothing instead, only listen more intently. Alternatively, in addition to listening, ask questions to help people discover themselves more fully. Just be in the moment, in another’s emotional shoes and he or she will love you for it. Allow a person to express feelings freely and openly, loving and accepting the wholeness of an individual. Preemptively, agree to disagree internally, yet being okay about any views, feelings, or statements of another, while remaining open-minded toward understanding another’s opinions, beliefs, values, emotions, boundaries, principles, and priorities. Magic happens through sincere active listening without emotional reactivity.

While another is talking, are you thinking about what you desire to say next, interrupting conversions, finishing sentences, or autobiographically speaking about your own experiences, taking the focus off the speaker and on to you? Active listening is an incredibly helpful skill to master if only we practice doing it, day by day, moment by moment, one beautiful person at a time. Now, we can converse optimally, saying virtually nothing, yet gaining much understanding, control over ourselves, and meeting both our and another’s needs and desires more efficiently and effectively. Self-respect encompasses mastering thyself through becoming your best self. Invest in loving yourself and others, today. What do you think?

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