Most men I talk to agree that listening to their partners and kids is challenging. Why should this be? Although I am singling out men, I know women can also have this issue.
Here are some reasons why men have trouble listening at home:
- Men (and women) maybe tired of listening when they get home after work. And they are likely just plain physically tired.
- Men can get distracted (while trying to listen to their partners) by their phones, computers, TV, and other electronics. Since it is hard to do two things at once, they may miss some of what their partner and kids are saying.
- Most men are raised in our society to solve problems. As a result, they don’t always fully listen and show empathy and compassion when their partners share challenges. Most women report that when sharing a challenge with their husband, they would prefer if their husband just listened. Most men don’t know this.
So what can a guy do to be a better listener at home?
- Share your feelings with your partner when you are tired and having difficulty listening. Arrange a time when you are feeling more awake and available to listen.
- Put your phone away and/or turn off the TV when your partner wants to talk.
- Give your partner your full and undivided attention when they talk to you. Use active listening skills.
Stop problem solving and just listen! It’s a lot less work and your partner will appreciate it.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Dalai Lama