Are You Really Hearing Your Partner? by Ilissa Banhazl, MFT

Want to learn skills for effective communication in therapy

Do you want to be right or happy?

When your partner has something important to discuss with you or you’re having a disagreement, do you really listen when your partner speaks? Or are you ready and waiting to defend yourself or your point of view?

We need to remember it’s not about who is right or wrong or about winning. We need to remember its okay to be called out on something we’ve done as long as the other person is respectful in sharing about it. There’s no shame in making a mistake. We all do. It’s part of being human and it teaches us what we want to do differently in the future.

So if it’s really okay to make a mistake or to have different beliefs you may be able to become a better listener.

Here’s how:

1. Listen without interrupting. If you need too, grab a pad and take notes.

2. Try repeating back to your partner what you heard them say.

3. Have them repeat what they said if you missed something or misunderstood.

4. Then try again to repeat what you’ve heard.

5. Have your partner tell you if you heard them correctly.

6. Take turns talking, listening and repeating.

7. Continue to do this until you feel your communication is more effective.

8. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth respectfully.

*If you are the speaker, keep your sentences short at first so that your partner can repeat back what they heard you say.

There is no right or wrong, just differences! Do you want to be right or happy?

Please call to learn more skills for improving your communication!



About Ilissa Banhazl

Ilissa Banhazl is a licensed marriage and family psychotherapist, former grade school teacher and holds a masters degree in reading. She has a private practice in Glendora, CA and lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and three children. She specializes in adult, adolescent, individual, couple, and family relationship counseling as well as eating disorder treatment and recovery. She facilitates a Women’s Support Group in Glendora as well as a Women’s Disordered Eating & Body Image Group. Ilissa authors 3 therapy blogs, Marriage and Family, Eating Disorders and Group Therapy. You can follow her at FB and Twitter. or
This entry was posted in Couple's Counseling and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Are You Really Hearing Your Partner? by Ilissa Banhazl, MFT

  1. Lavelda Naylor says:

    Reblogged this on Lavelda Naylor and commented:
    I like the tips here for listening and agree that really listening includes letting go of value judgments to absorb the messages.

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