3 Ways to Get Your Partner To Listen

As a couples counselor and sex therapist in New York, the issue of communication and listening skills quite often comes up. Invariably, the issues of communication range from, “My partner doesn’t know how to communicate and/or “My partner never listens.” During a heated argument, it can be difficult to express your thoughts and feelings, so here are three tips to help communicate more effectively with your partner so they will listen.

  1. Try to reframe or phrase your sentences in a positive way. For example, if you get into an argument, tell your partner what you would like for them to do but in a positive way. “I like that we divide up the household chores and I like when you remember to take out the garbage when it’s your turn.” Rather than “You never remember to take out the garbage when it’s your turn.”

  2. To encourage your partner to listen, include both qualities already present in your relationship and include qualities you want to have. For instance, if you want your partner to be more apt to listen, let them know what you like and what you wish they can improve on.  “I really like that you are ________ and I wish _____________.  You fill in the blanks. For example, “I really like the fact that you are so warm and understanding and I really wish that we can spend more time together.” By acknowledging the positive qualities first, this will enable you partner be more inclined to listen, rather than leading with a demand or criticism.

  3. Communicate realistic ideas and goals. Many couples wish that they would never fight or have an argument but that is not realistic. People struggle with fights and conflicts every day and one of the things that are learned in couples counseling is how to argue effectively. You can get your point across, without having to put the other person down or getting into a shouting match. Instead of, “We never want to fight,” Try, “We settle our disagreements peacefully.” Instead of “We are not jealous people”, Try, “We trust each other.” You can create safety and support for your partner by acknowledging their feelings and listening from your heart.


Sophie is a psychotherapist at My Therapist New York where she provides individual psychotherapy, couples counseling, and family therapy. She specializes in interracial couples and multicultural counseling. Schedule therapy in New York today!




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