Larry James' BLOG

Monday, December 18, 2017

Different People Hear Differently!

Filed under: Listening — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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What you say is not nearly as important as what we hear. Which means that the words matter, and so does the way we say them. And how we say them.

And what we do after we say them.

It takes two to be understood. Not just speaking clearly, but speaking in a way that you can be understood.

Empathy is not sufficient. Compassion is more useful, because it’s possible to talk to someone who is experiencing something that you’ve never experienced.

The words above are from a blog post by Seth Godin.

“External factors in the home also make it difficult for couples to be attentive to one another. Household chores, tending to children, working from home, and a host of other necessities can definitely present challenges to communication. This is true even among the most loving and supporting of couples.” ~ © 2014

Rather than becoming upset or angry when your spouse appears to be inattentive, accept responsibility to gain their attention. When the words, “We need to talk” are heard it makes most men quiver with fear. So, instead, when you need to have an important talk, choose a good time and quiet place to initiate conversation. If your partner had a tough day, is tired, has a lot on his/her mind, is busy with an important task, etc., it may be wise to wait for a better opportunity to talk. And talk you must. Never let important conversation slide.

Here is an over-simplified solution: When your partner talks to you… turn down the TV, get rid of any distractions and LISTEN! Paying attention takes conscious effort. It is highly conducive to building a sense of connection to your partner. You say, “I love you” in a very special way when you pay attention to your partner! It’s truly a matter of respect!

If you are the partner who is not being heard… it may be necessary to make a request. I once put on my “feelings” hat and said to my partner; “Can you understand how frustrating it is for me to tell you something that I consider very important only to have to repeat it because you are not paying attention when I speak? It feels like your not interested in what I have to say.” I got a quick apology and her immediate attention.

If any of this rings the bell for you, it is important to understand that you have valid emotional needs, – one of which is being heard – and when those needs are ignored, relationship conflicts arise.

“Effective communication – especially in times of conflict – calls for a focused dedication and repetitious practice. It calls for honest self-evaluation, humility, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to change according to the needs of the relationship. And it takes (at least) two.” ~ Thom Rutledge Quote, LCSW

For the Guys

Listen to your partner when they need to be heard. Listening (in a relationship) is an art. It takes practice. It not the kind of listening that signals, “Yeah, I heard that… now what?” It the kind of listening that lets your partner know that you really care about what she is saying. When she speaks… you must focus on what she is saying. Make eye contact. Drop what you are doing. Turn off the TV and really pay attention to what she is saying. Don’t get defensive. Just listen. If she is speaking about a bad day, resist the urge to “fix-it!” She really doesn’t want a Mr. Fix-it, she wants a committed listener!

whenshespeaks.jpgFor the Gals

Say what you want, clearly. Don’t hint. Guys don’t get hints. That’s the way their brain is wired. Men cannot read your mind. Don’t have any undelivered communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No wonder you think that he doesn’t listen. He doesn’t have a clue about what you are talking about. I’ve been criticized for saying, “Say things worth listening to,” as if I meant that you don’t. The point is, when you want your guy’s attention, wait before you speak until you have it. If he is not in the listening groove… be patient until he is. Then, be clear and specific about what you want.

“Rarely is there a time when it is appropriate to withhold relevant communication in a love relationship. Communication is too important to take casually. Say what you mean. Say what you feel in a loving way and say it nevertheless. When you say what you know needs to be said, you will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing.” ~ Larry James

For Everyone

Almost everyone agrees that communication is the number one problem is most relationships. Communication is about speaking and listening. It’s not about always trying to defend your position or holding on to being right. It’s also about negotiation, compromise, and much more. Learn to be good at it. When one person is speaking (no interruptions), the other is listening (paying attention), and vice versa. Maintaining respect for your partner’s point of view is critical regardless of whether there is agreement or not.

“According to the University of Missouri, it takes 25 percent of our mental capacity to hear what someone is saying, leaving the other 75 percent to wander wherever it wants. However, discipline and active engagement in the conversation can significantly improve your listening skills.” ~ Lily Obeck

The secret to communicating effectively with your partner is listening! Many of us are poor listeners. We lose interest as soon as out partner begins to talk about something that has been a concern or that has caused conflict in the past. We find ourselves dipping into our bag of tricks and using anything to avoid that conversation and it’s usually begins by not listening.

Copyright © 2017 ~ Seth Godin and Larry James. All rights reserved.


CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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