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Active and constructive response

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals, L. J. Isham.

Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self, Dean Jackson.

Active and constructive responses are not just for romantic relationships, they should also be used in parent-child communication, in the workplace, etc. But, what do we exactly mean by active and constructive responses?

Imagine that he or she tells us a positive outcome or event, for example, he just got a job, her salary has recently risen to £24,000, he/she passed an important exam, etc.

This response is not matched with the essential non-verbal cues being expected or hoped for: joy and happiness are not displayed, rather apathy and lack of interest is clearly manifested. Typically, there is no visual contact or the message is being delivered in a flat demeanor and/or monotone.

Some good news, such as “I have passed all my exams!, I got the job!, She accepted the date and apologized for being super busy, etc.” are met with “Shall we go? Shall we eat now? I have been working the whole damn day and I need to chill out for a few hours. What’s on TV tonight?” By changing the subject quickly, you’re showing very blatantly that you don’t care much about what’s being said or even about her/his feelings.

We are not always in a good mood or attitude. We’re often busy, tired, and ― to put it mildly ― not very eager to listen to our partners. This is especially true after a long day at work. However, a healthy relationship requires effective and constant dialogue where both partners listen and provide active and constructive responses to each other.

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