When people are really frustrated in a relationship, one of the most frequent problems is that the other person is not listening to them. Being heard is difficult for a variety of reasons. When someone asks you a question, and you ignore them, it demonstrates high disrespect. It makes people feel unimportant. It is also one of the main reasons people feel alone and isolated. None of these feelings or positions benefit a marriage or working relationship.
Even if two people talk about a problem and both care about it on the inside, it will only fully resonate with the other person if action is taken. We demonstrate to people that they are heard and that what is important to them is worthy of discussion through action. It is probably best to get up and empty the trashcan if someone tells you it is full while they are making the kid’s dinner. This does not imply that one person must do all the work.
It means that action, or even a plan, must be taken to address the issues. Do you need help cleaning, taking the kids to activities, preparing meals, getting groceries, or even taking your significant other out on a date? When something comes up in conversation as a problem for one person, it is essential to listen to what that person is saying, but it is also important to act or at least create a plan to work on their needs.
If the "need" is not really a need but rather a desire, you can discuss how, at this time, this issue cannot be resolved and must remain unresolved. Working on it and acting demonstrates that the relationship, and thus the other person, is essential to you and take priority in your life. It makes no difference what they ask or need; what matters is how we respond if we want the other person to feel heard.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on this information you should first consult with your physician or health care provider. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition, your health, or wellness.