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Applying mindful listening to relationship conflict

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Listening mindfully can help you navigate conflict more effectively. Essentially, it includes listening without judgement, criticism or interruption, while being aware of internal thoughts and reactions. Here are four excellent tips by Gillian Florence Sanger through the Gottman Institute (more detail here):

  1. Approach your partner with curiosity - see if there are new things you can discover from your partner's perspective

  2. Tune into your inner silence - this includes quieting racing thoughts and making space internally so that you can receive something new during the conversation

  3. Listen to understand rather than to respond - rather than formulating a counter argument while your partner is talking, you are open to seeing where your partner is coming from

  4. Cultivate heart-centredness - approaching your partner and the discussion with care and compassion. It can help to mindfully pause and tap into your love and care for each other.

Mindfulness and listening mindfully is a practice, so it's important to know that this is something that you will need to keep applying, and that you won't always manage it perfectly. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself in this too.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as counselling/therapy advice or used as a substitute for such. You should always speak to your own counsellor.



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