The beginning of relationships are beautiful. We are all victim to the upward spiral and euphoric feelings we sense when we are courting someone or someone is courting us. The focus, attention to detail, exploration and general desire to understand each other can cause hundreds of butterflies to lift us into the air.
Unfortunately this euphoria dies down. The process and eagerness to get to know one another becomes slow. You may ask yourself, should I have him fill out a questionnaire? How do I ask him questions without sounding like a narcissist? The truth is, there is no one set way to accomplish this next phase. In fact, the outcome of your specific situation will depend upon what we lack most, proper communication skills.
First off, do not type up and print off a questionnaire. Not only is that a red flag for the person you’re getting to know, it is also super lazy on your part. Secondly, to be an effective communicator you have to be an active listener.
To be an effective communicator you have to be an active listener.
Simple right? No. Many of us believe we are listening when the other person speaks but truly we are always preoccupied with something else. Thoughts about what could be, expectations on how the person should respond because you have the perfect reply in mind, a plan to escape the conversation if it doesn’t go your way and playing on our phones/watching television.
That sister, is not active listening.
The key language of an active listener is the sound of mhm, hmph, wow, no way so how did ___? Etc. An active listener is hearing your words and watching your body language. Which is damn near impossible to do if you’re on your phone or watching TV. Active listening requires both sound and sight, and sometimes touch.
You will also have a better understanding about the things they are discussing. Which is important when you’re really trying to get to know someone.
Active listening will provide you with a better understanding of:
- How something or someone makes them feel
- How they respond to certain situations
- How they deal with and manage stress
- They’re coping mechanisms
- How they need to be comforted or supported
- The best way for you to respond and communicate with them
- Other things not listed
As an active listener, we are provided with tools that allow us to communicate effectively with the person we are trying to understand or reach. In most cases, you’ll be aware and take caution to responding out of understanding instead of emotion.
“Emotional responses are the fuel to a fiery argument. Often times, an argument can be avoided if you create a basic level or moderate level of communication.”– Star Candelaria
When you have these conversations they can lead into deeper dialogue that may answer the questions on your questionnaire. Except, this way is more connected.
Now that euphoric feeling will continue at a steady rate and you will find yourself amongst the clouds each day.