Effective communication: are you being heard?

According to A.R. Bernard the number 1 complaint that women have about men is that men don't listen.  In his new book, “Four Things Women Want From A Man,”Bernard addresses women’s wants but speaks directly to men about what women expect from them as well. Here is some tips for effective communication.

The key to any healthy relationship is effective communication and knowing what you want from your partner and most women don't know what that is.  However they do know what they don't want as they are quick to identify the traits they are not attracted to.

Think about what attracts you when searching for a suitable partner?  How important is it for a partner to be strong, take pride in their personal appearance, be financially stable, be spontaneous, act on impulse, be driven, is kind, funny or predictable?

What level of importance do you place on those traits?  You will have your own preferences and standards and it is simply a matter of finding the right fit.

Finding the right fit - The List

Several years ago, I was a single Mum of 2.  After meeting some interesting men online, one of whom later ended up on the news (that's a story for another day), I decided to write a list.  My list consisted of all the things I wanted in a partner.  My list looked like a job description for my future partner.  It included things like age, occupation, colour of car etc.

After writing the list I destroyed it and thought nothing more of it.  I carried on with life, began tertiary studies and continued raising my gorgeous children.  I was finally at a place where I was happy and content with being on my own.  I had a routine and life was great.

Somehow I managed to connect with a man online and we began chatting.  Messages were sent back and forth and it wasn't until he asked me to meet him in person did I ever think it was going to be anything more than an online friendship.  In my mind his profile photo told me that he would not be interested in a 30 year old single Mum of 2.

I casually agreed to meet him for dinner the following week and 11 years later we have been happily married for 6 of those wonderful years.  A few months after meeting Russell I recalled, from memory, my list.  As I began to air tick off each point I suddenly realised that HE was my list.  My ah ha moment right there.

Without realising it, I had manifested him with all the traits I was looking for in a partner.  I knew what I didn't want and what I did want.  I wanted someone who was kind, caring, supportive, strong, loving and independent who would be there for us.  Someone who would listen to me and spend time with me.

All of these were not part of my previous relationship which revolved around drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence.  I craved the love of a man who was strong, someone I could lean on for support and someone whose shoulder I could cry on.

The List - Activity

Think about what you want in a partner.  On a piece of paper, folded in half lengthwise, write the things you don't want in a partner on the left hand side.  List them all.  On the right hand side write all the things you do want in a partner.  It is always better to finish on a positive note.

If you are not currently in a relationship then destroy your list and carry on as normal.  You might be surprised to see how manifesting a partner with these traits starts with the creation of this list.

For those of you who are in a relationship, ask yourself, does your partner posses those traits?  If not, you now have a starting point for discussion.  This activity is not about trying to change your partner.  It is designed to open the lines of effective communication so that you feel heard.

Nagging or trying to change someone will never work, it simply creates resentment and once resentment enters a relationship it has a tendency to become toxic.  Toxicity in a relationship can lead to separation and divorce.

Now that you have written your lists, ask your partner to do the same.  With the paper folded in half, keep the don't want side hidden and have the do want side facing up.  We want to focus on those things that both of you want rather than what you don't want.  Remember, keeping things positive is far more important than focusing on the negative.

Sit together without any distractions around you and take turns to read out one thing each that you do want from each other and discuss how you can have more of it.  Identify ways of integrating it into your relationship and make a conscience effort to commit to doing it often.

When someone asks you for something, repeat back to them what they are asking for.  This effective communication gives the receiver the opportunity to be heard and can also help you retain the information in your memory.  If you find it difficult to retain information, saying something out loud at least 7 times can help you to commit it to memory.

Once you have worked through your lists rip the pieces of paper in half down the middle and destroy the don't want side.  Now that you have focused on the do want side you will find that they occur more in your relationship through having been listened to and heard.

We would love to hear the four things you want in a partner by leaving a comment below.


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