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You’re Not Listening!

Open Your Heart


Listening means “to hear with understanding.”

You listen not just with your ears, but with your heart and your whole being.

Listening isn’t just hearing the words that fall out of your partner’s mouth and parroting those words back; it’s giving the other person the sense that you really get it. Really getting it translates into really getting me. When you don’t get it, it’s the responsibility of your partner to say, “No, you didn’t hear me,” and to try again.

You’ll know when you’ve heard your partner, because you’ll be affected by what he or she said. And your partner will know by your body language that you heard. So often it isn’t about the words you say in response. Your partner can feel when you get what he or she is communicating.

Experience with girlfriends and patients has shown me that most women have built-in BS monitors, which alert them when things are off. The words they hear might be accurate, but they can sense when the intention or understanding is not there.

The best way to listen is to break the conversation into small chunks. At first, it can be really hard for the other person to refrain from saying all the things he or she feels the need to say at once, so make sure you both know that you’ll get your chance to talk. Give each other five minutes to talk and then reverse roles. Then take each five-minute statement bit by bit, checking in often to make sure your partner is really hearing what you’re saying or that your partner feels that he or she is being heard and understood.

Sometimes just this experience of opening your heart to your partner’s message can resolve the conflict loop that has kept you trapped for so long. When a couple comes to see me, and one of the partners says, “I don’t get it. I have listened and listened and said I am sorry for months, years, but she just won’t drop it!” my response is often the same:

“Listen with your heart and your whole being so that your partner feels heard and understood.”

Copyright- Tara Fields-The Love Fix:Repair and Restore Your Relationship Now

You’re Not Listening!

Tara Fields, PhD, L.M.F.T.

Tara Fields, PhD, M.F.T. is a licensed psychotherapist who integrates family systems, mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy and attachment theory in her clinical practice, working with individuals, couples and families. Fields is the bestselling author of The Love Fix: Repair and Restore Your Relationship Right Now (HarperCollins), a media consultant, and a nationally recognized relationship expert who has appeared on such television shows as Oprah, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and CNN. She is frequently featured and quoted in publications including Redbook, Brides, Real Simple and Glamour. She lives in Marin County, California where she maintains a private clinical practice.

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APA Reference
Fields, T. (2015). You’re Not Listening!. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 22 Nov 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Nov 2015
Published on All rights reserved.