Relationship Minute: Listen to the pain

Every human being deserves respect and equality. During a time when friends, families, and communities are suffering, it is crucial to understand how to listen and the value of listening well.

Listening means self-soothing to avoid becoming reactive or defensive.

Listening is allowing for ambiguity and discomfort.

Listening requires real empathy and the elimination of contempt.

As Dr. John Gottman explains, “real empathy comes from going: ‘You know, I understand how upset you are. It really hurts me that I’m messing up this way, and I’ve got to take some action.’ Real empathy comes from feeling your partner’s pain in a real way, and then doing something about it.”

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.