The One Skill To Master For Healthy, Happy Relationships
The one thing I have learned over the past 5 year of being a relationship and love coach, is many relationships are suffering from a lack of true presence.
All human beings process information in slightly different capacities, we all have unique life experiences and our perceptions are based on this unique view of the world AND to top it all off there are certain distinguishable differences between men and women when it comes to communication.
With all these differences, the one thing we are all united in is the desire to be heard and accepted.
If there is ever ONE thing you choose to develop in yourself (that most people commonly undervalue) let it be this:
Your ability to CLEANLY LISTEN.
What is clean listening?
Clean listening is the ability to actually hear what the other person is saying without wanting to interject, get your point across or shift the directive in any way. Most people listen to respond. “Listening” while at the same time formulating a point, response or witty comeback is not clean listening. “Listening” and at the same time running a projection, worry or assumption about what the other person is saying while the other person is speaking is also not clean listening.
Clean listening is when you are 100% present in the conversation and really hearing every word, paying attention to the sound texture of the voice, observing body language- basically focusing your entire attention towards the person and the communication they are delivering.
Clean listening is like any skill or muscle. It must be practiced with great intention and consistency for it to become a habitual pattern. It isn’t likely that we are going to be able to listen cleanly 100% of the time in all of our interactions. Life gets lifey. However, when it comes to intimate and close relationships learning this skill will absolutely do wonders for the connection, intimacy and happiness within the relationship.
The Miracle That Turns It All Around.
Listening is the gift that causes miracles in relationships. As it stands, people are often speaking different languages of perception but we can override all of this when we consciously choose to give our full presence and listen.
Consider how absolutely incredible it feels when you are completely heard. When someone gives their full presence to you while you are speaking, actually hears what you are saying and allows you to be in the full experience of whatever you are experiencing- you likely have the experience of being accepted just as you are.
A common challenge in many relationships is that two people in the relationship don’t actually accept their partners as they are.
We tend to accept elements of our partners but in times of stress or anxiety, many of us will often slip into default mode. It is in this mode where we fixate on the ways we think our partner should change to fit our agenda of who they should be and the ways in which our partners life should look.
Gosh, that is obnoxiously arrogant. And we all seem to do this at some point in our relationships and to varying degrees.
As soon as we wish to change someone we have stopped loving them.
When we want to change someone, unconsciously we are saying: “My love for you is conditional upon you being a certain way. To receive my love you need to change to fit my idea of who you should be.” YUK. Gross. So NOT love.
I would be totally fibbing if I said I didn’t do this. I catch myself doing this ALL the time. However, I’ve learned enough about myself, relationships and self-control to catch these moments of un-loving, as best I can. When I notice I am no longer present in my listening that is the gateway to this slippery slope of conditional love.
Knowing this my access point to unconditional love and acceptance is directly correlated to my ability to be present and listen cleanly.
How To Amp Up Your Clean Listening Skills
1. Honour your needs.
Seriously, if your cup is empty because you have been neglecting your own needs your ability to really listen will automatically become impaired. Self-care rituals are essential for your energy to remain vibrant and for your self-awareness to remain sharp. The person who is required to fill your needs is YOU. If you won’t even honour and give yourself what you need, why would anyone else step up to this responsibility?
2. Increase your mindfulness practices.
The more time you invest into stilling your mind and calming down your system, the more present you become to experiencing the beauty of each moment. The more still you are on the inside the more available you are for intimacy, honesty and bliss.
3. Be responsible for yourself.
If you know you aren’t in a place to actually hold the space of presence and listening be HONEST about that. So often we enter into conversations when we aren’t actually ready emotionally, mentally or physically and then they take a turn for the worst. All of that drama can be avoided if you communicate clearly and respectfully when you are NOT open and give a clear time when you know you will be open and receptive to really listening and being present.
Relationships take effort. There is no easy pill we can take to ensure 100% smooth sailing 100% of the time. Relationships would be mighty boring if that were the case. In reality we are going to come up against resistance, challenges and conflicting points of view- and what matters the most is what we do in the face of those moments. Our choices and behaviour moment to moment often determine whether we sink or swim when it comes to love. You can set your relationship on a course to success through your gift of presence, listening and deep unconditional love.
It’s never too late to love. Tweet this goodness
Looking for love in all the wrong places? I wrote a book for you- Sabotaged Love: The 12 Archetypes Keeping You From The Love You Want and if you are looking to thrive in life by living and leading with love, HIRE Me. Your heart will be so glad you did.
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