Relationships: When you don’t feel heard

Couples Therapy Session

There will be a number of times when you’ve spoken to your partner where you feel like you’re not being heard and you feel as though your needs and wants are not being heard. Relationships can be joyous and a great source of happiness however when communication breaks down in your relationship, things can start to feel overwhelming.

You could feel a number of things including:

      1. Your needs and wants are not important because your partner isn’t paying attention to what you’re saying
      2. Feeling judged or misunderstood by your partner because of your partner’s response
      3. You may experience anger because you feel you’re not being listened to

The impact on your feeling, when you’re not being heard can be great and when you’re exposed to this feeling over a long period of time can affect your self-esteem, your confidence and your trust in people, causing issues in your relationship. This can in some individuals cause anxiety that you’re not able to communicate because you won’t be heard or even be judged for what you’re saying.

There are a few things you can try to help you feel heard by your partner:

      1. Body language – maintain eye contact and use nodding as a way to show you’re listening to the other person
      2. Don’t get distracted – focus on what’s being said to you
      3. Offer insight not advise – Understand your partners need fully, they need to know you hear them and that you understand them. Your partner may not want to be ‘fixed’ – they may just want to be heard.
      4. Reflect back what you hear from your partner and check your understanding
      5. Listen to your partner even if you don’t agree – passing judgment won’t help

When you feel heard it allows you to process your feelings when you feel heard by your partner this could be all you need in order to move forward. You may not agree with your partner and that’s okay – you can still listen and not agree with someone.

Listening to each other’s needs can help improve your relationship because you can then communicate your way through issues you may face.

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