1. Hear them. Before you can listen, you have to be aware that your partner is talking to you. If you are busy and you hear them talking to you, stop what you are doing and talk to them. If you can’t do that, tell them that you will be with them shortly. Miscommunication happens when a person is too wrapped up in what they are doing and then fail to realise that their partner is talking to them.
2. Apologise. If you did not hear your partner the first time, apologise and try to correct the situation. Try not to let it happen again, because an apology will not work on the same situation a second time around.
3. Make a note of what your partner is saying. If your partner complains that you keep forgetting stuff, write it down. Put it in a visible place or set an alarm on your phone or computer.
4. Understand what they are saying. It is not just about knowing what language you and your partner speak. You need to think hard about what they are saying. You have to know how it affects you. You also need to know how you can help them if they are talking about a problem.
5. Do not give unsolicited advice. Always wait for them to ask for your help. When they do not ask for it, do not just leave it at that. Ask them if they need your help.
6. Do not interrupt them. Interrupting someone when they talk makes it harder for you to remember what it is that person is saying. It is also rude. Your partner may resent you for it. If you have something to say about the matter, wait until they pause or stop talking.
7. Acknowledge what they are saying. Do not just stare blankly at your partner while they are talking. Always acknowledge them with enthusiastic nods or by saying words like “Yes”, “Uh-huh”, “I see” or anything that is appropriate for the conversation. It might seem like such a small detail, but they will appreciate you for showing that you are indeed listening to them.