Women often complain that men don’t listen, but Belinda Elliott, a columnist on family topics for CBN, points out that good communication requires an effort by both parties. You can get a man to listen to you if you go about it the right way. He may never be as skilled as your best girlfriends at lending a sympathetic ear, but you can get him to hear you out when you really need to talk.
Choose the right time for your conversation. Don’t decide you need him to listen five minutes before he is ready to leave for his weekly bowling outing, when he’s stressed and exhausted from a hard workday or while he is watching his favorite sport. Pick a time when you can both relax and focus on a discussion, without outside distractions or responsibilities.
Tell the man that you need him to listen to you. Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby, authors of the book “How to Get Your Husband to Listen to You,” recommend spelling out your needs clearly because males often do not pick up on hints. The man may not understand that you really need to talk to him, so he’ll give half of his attention to the television or not focus on your words. Explain that you need his undivided attention.
Explain what you need from him. Women often need to vent, according Online Dating Magazine associate publisher Kim Lance, and they don’t want to be told what they should do or how to solve the problem. Men often take a rational approach and make suggestions, instead of just listening and giving empathic feedback. If you want his opinions, tell him so. If you just need to get something out, make that clear. Say, “I need to get this off my chest. I don’t need any advice. I just really need you to listen to it.”
Thank him for listening to you. Be very specific about what you appreciate. For example, say, “I really like how you gave me your full attention. I really needed to get this out, so thanks for listening to me and not interrupting.” This gives him guidance for the next time you need him to listen.