I have a foggy memory of my high school days when girl fights were all the rage, but why were they exactly? At some point ever one of us was in a fight with a girlfriend, because she talked behind your back or talked to your face or you didn’t like her boyfriend. There was always something driving a wedge through our relationships and we accepted it. I never liked that cattiness and one solution evaded us all. I implement it in all of my relationships today, some solid listening.
I’ve always been a good listener. It’s provided me with wonderful memories of moments, conversations and experiences. I focus on all the happy and fun times, rather than the petty and jealous moments in our relationships. What I’ve learned is that its super easy to listen in your relationships! Trust me, from now on you’ll implement good listening without even knowing it.
Learn to let people finish their story. I definitely have friends that always want to tell you their stories and only theirs. We all do kids. The secret to actually creating a two-way street with these people is to just listen to their stories. Don’t interrupt them to tell your coinciding story, don’t comment on every detail, but let them tell their whole story and then decide how you want to respond. This gives your friend an opportunity to settle, feel like they had their moment, and be grateful that someone listened to their complete story.
ALSO ON BUZZCHOMP: Banana Brownies Recipe Video
Let someone vent to you. It’s always nice when I can vent to someone. Truly vent. I find when I can do this that the person I vent to always has a clear picture of how I’m feeling and normally makes me feel way better about the situation. It’s also comforting to be able to talk to someone and have someone who feels comfortable talking to you.
Keep your friends’ secrets. I’ve definitely gotten better at this with age. I always thought of myself as a good secret keeper, but we’ve all had our moments of letting a secret slip. I definitely value my friends’ secrets, even if someone tells me a secret and I’m not that close with them. Remember, this person trusted you so listen to their secret, take it in, and then lock it away.
Don’t hold your feelings in. Sometimes being a good listener has its’ downfalls in a relationship. You listen so much that it is taken for granted. This happens, but honestly, if you hold those feelings in and do not express them to your friend or partner, they won’t ever know. Telling someone that you’re feeling taken advantage of in a relationship won’t always be received well, but if you hold it in you’re just going to resent the relationship, sabotage it, and that will be that.
Know your boundaries. Every relationship has its boundaries. Remember to know those boundaries and be aware not to cross them. Nowadays we immerse ourselves in aspects of others’ lives that in the past would be considered taboo or rude. We’ve become relaxed and casual in our attitudes, but we must remember that what’s acceptable to one person isn’t always acceptable to another.
Know your audience. Each relationship is different. Approaching every relationship the same way is silly, lazy and naïve. You don’t play football the same way you play basketball. There are things I do with my man that I only do with him. I don’t do those things with anyone else. Likewise, I have girlfriends that I only do, say, or approach that relationship in a certain way. I don’t tell all my friends every single secret, all the same stories, or ask for the same advice on things. It works better if you know whom you can tell things to, how to act around certain friends, and which friends you can do certain things with.
All of this advice comes down to listening. When we actually take the time to listen to others we have meaningful relationships, but we also learn to value all types of relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, acquaintances and so on. It really comes down to some good old listening. It strengthens all relationships!
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Vlogger at BuzzChomp. She’s an actress, writer, and producer. Get lost in her youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram
Photo credits: www.co2partners.com and www.lenski.com