"You Never Listen to Me"- 5 Steps to Understanding Each Other.

You Never Listen to Me 5 Steps to Understanding Each Other

If you have ever been in a relationship, then you know what can be the most difficult things to deal with. To wash the dishes after a romantic dinner? Nooo. To tolerate dirty socks all over the place? Nooo. To visit his or her mum every week end? Hmmm, maybe, but not exactly.

The hardest thing is to understand each other. The fact that you speak the same language doesnt matter here, its all about understanding and acknowledging your partners feelings and needs.

So, here is how to achieve that understanding with less heartache. These are five main points to remember to ensure a difficult discussion runs a little more smoothly. Lets have a closer look at each component.


This simple rule is broken the most. People dont let each other talk thinking that they have the right to say something first. All they do is interrupt their partner and scream over his or her voice. To make sure they still will be heard they raise their voice even more and more. The problem is that the other person is doing the same because they want to speak their mind too. So if both are talking, who can actually hear anything? Thats right... nobody.

To hear is simple, though. All you need to do is just to be quiet for a while, let your partner talk. If they start raising their voice its not a signal for you to interrupt them and start talking with their tones continuing on in the background. Keep quiet and keep your ears open. When both are talking simultaneously, its seems like it never ends because both have to repeat the same thing all over again to make sure the other will finally hear what is being said. But when you let your partner speak, you will be surprised how quickly they will speak out their thoughts. There will be no need to repeat hundreds of times because they will see that you are actually listening. As a bonus he might even keep his voice quieter than normal.

Active Listening

This is already a little bit more difficult to do than the previous consideration. If in the previous rule you can cheat by letting your partner speak while you are singing a song in your head or thinking about new shoes, with this one you have to pay a real attention. It might require some extra efforts to concentrate on what your partner is talking about. They are saying it not just for the sake of saying something to make a conversation but because its important for them. They want you if not to accept their point to at least to listen to it, to know it, to understand it finally. This is the moment when you show respect to your partner. Carefully listen what they are trying to tell you. If you genuinely dont understand something dont be shy to ask. Its better to demonstrate to them that you are trying to understand rather than to pretend to listen. Its important to stay polite and not be sarcastic. Try to use such phrases as "Sorry for interrupting you but Im not sure what you mean by that", "Sorry, I didnt understand", "I just want to make sure I understand you correctly", etc. Show that you are interested in what they are talking about. At this stage, its still their turn to talk. Dont put in your opinion, you will do it later. For now -- just let them speak.


When your partner has finished talking, its time to give them feedback. Remember that we are trying here to understand each other. That is our ultimate goal. Its still not your turn to express your opinion. Be patient. Show them that you were listening. Usually its followed by such phrases such as "So you want", "So you think", "Did I understand you right ?" or "I understand where you are coming from" etc. Have you ever heard your friend or partner say, "You never listen to me"!! Acknowledgement is so important. You dont need to agree with what they said. They just need to know that you heard it. Were all egocentric by nature, so if we see that someone was truly listening and even understood us, we appreciate that. Wouldnt you?

Expressing your opinion

Now its your turn to express your opinion. Dont think that you have to stick to "I agree" or "I disagree" statements. Speak out independently about how you feel. This is because first, by saying "I disagree" you make them think you are against them, that you are contradicting them. However, your opinion has the same right to be expressed as theirs does. They were just lucky enough to start talking first. Secondly, by saying "I disagree", you will already feel like you have to justify yourself and your feelings but why should you? There are two opinions here and both are independent. They both need to be spoken out and discussed, no matter who was first.


When both opinions are heard and there are some antagonisms discovered, its important to find a solution, a compromise. People say a compromise is when everybody gets what they dont need. This may be the case if a compromise is made in the wrong way and both partners really get what they didnt want. So how do you make the right compromise so both parties get what they want?

Firstly, remember that if you are in a relationship you are already bound to somebody, likewise they are bound to you. You have to meet each other half way, which means you can do some of what you want, but you also have to do some of what your partner wants. Its either that or dont share a life with them at all. But does it mean you have to forget about your wishes completely and do everything like your partner wants? No. Dont forget, that they have to meet you half way too.

So how to make a compromise where both win?

The trick is to prioritize what is more important for you and what you can give up on. With big issues, it helps if you both make a list of the things you cant live without, what is really important for you. But dont put everything in there, list only things that really matter to you. Be honest with your partner and with yourself. In a second column, write things that you can sacrifice if needed. Those will be things that you like but if its a problem for your partner, you will leave them. Then look at each others lists and think how you can create a new one where the things that are important to you will still be there. Try to be flexible and understanding. After you were listening and actually hearing your partner, you already know what is important for him or her.

This is it.

  • Hearing
  • Active Listening
  • Responding
  • Expressing your opinion
  • Compromising

These 5 elements will bring more harmony and peace into your relationship. Try it and you will see how much easier it might be to deal with some heated discussions.

Comments (4)

Thank you Nick
Dear Nick, its good simple way.
I have a more simple method.

You plug ear plugs in your ears. You look at her face. When the lips have stopped moving for about 10 seconds you get up. You give her a hug and a kiss on her cheek. Then jump in the car and go to buy a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates.

When I was a little boy my mum and my dada had an argument. She said she was going to iron his shirt for work. She put the shirt on the ironing table and put a hot iron on it. Then she went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea. After a while she went back to the ironing board and my dads shirt had this big burn mark on his shirt. She even smiled when she helped him put it on.

Her comment was: With a woman you may win the battle but you will never win the war.

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