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Practical Tips for Helping Your Partner Feel Heard and Understood

Everyone wants to feel like they matter. That’s especially true when you’re in a relationship. But, sometimes, that’s easier said than done. No matter how much you love and care about your partner, they might still feel like you don’t fully understand them. 

Needless to say, that can be frustrating for both of you. Even worse, it can create problems in your relationship that leave both of you feeling confused and down. 

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help your partner feel heard and understood. By implementing some of these tips, you’re likely to see a change in the way you communicate as a couple, and a greater sense of closeness and intimacy as you both start to feel more “seen” by each other. 

Be an Active Listener

Man and Woman Sitting on Wooden Bench One of the easiest and most effective ways to help your partner truly feel heard is to listen to them. 

That doesn’t mean you simply hear what they have to say. You’re probably already doing that. Rather, choose to be an active listener. When they’re speaking, make sure they have your full attention. Face them and use both verbal and non-verbal language to show that you’re interested in what they have to say. 

Cues like nodding and facial expressions can go a long way to let them know you’re really listening. Beyond that, repeating certain phrases for clarity and asking questions will assure them that what they say matters to you. 

Again, everyone wants to feel like they matter. You want your partner to take an interest in what you say, so make sure you’re doing the same for them. 

Don’t Try to Fix Everything

If your partner comes to you with an issue or problem, don’t automatically assume they’re trying to get you to come up with a solution. 

Sometimes, things don’t need to be “fixed,” they just need to be heard. Maybe they’re having trouble with a boss or co-worker and they just want to vent. Maybe there’s a goal they’re trying to achieve, but they’re having a hard time reaching it. 

You can certainly ask if they want your help, but don’t assume that’s why they’re coming to you. Sometimes, simply listening will go a long way in helping them feel better and making them feel understood. 

Validate Their Feelings

It’s not uncommon to question our own feelings sometimes. Have you ever wondered if you over-reacted, or if you’re feeling a certain way for no real reason? Those kinds of doubts and questions can make it hard to move forward. If you let them linger without talking to someone about them, they can also create self-esteem issues. 

If your partner comes to you questioning their feelings, make sure you validate them. Everyone is allowed to feel what they want. It’s how they handle those emotions that makes a difference. By validating your partner’s feelings, you’ll also boost their self-esteem and naturally encourage them to make the best choices for every situation. 

Practice Empathy

You might not always understand what your partner is dealing with. You don’t have to be a mind reader to make them feel understood. But, you should choose to be empathetic. 

If you’re having a hard time really hearing them, choose to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you were dealing with the same things? Active listening and asking questions can really come into play here. The more you get your partner to open up, the easier it will be for you to show them empathy without judgment. 

Putting these tips into practice will help to foster stronger, healthier communication in your relationship. Not only will your partner feel heard and understood, but they’re more likely to give you the same respect and understanding in return. Reach out to us to learn more about couples therapy.