Among the couples I coach, I've noticed that women's number one complaint about their significant others is, "He doesn't listen!" I am here to rescue you and teach you surprisingly easy tricks guaranteed to grab his attention. Read on to learn the surprisingly simple techniques that will help you get heard!
1. Sit Catty-Corner To him When Speaking
Men sometimes perceive face-to-face interaction as an act of aggression, which often triggers the fight-or-flight response. But studies show that sitting catty corner to (or even beside) him so he isn't forced to make eye contact with you lowers his defenses by short-circuiting this stress response. The result: he'll be more receptive to what you have to say.
2. Turn Off The TV
Men don't multi-task nearly as well as women do. This is related to the fact that, in general, women activate more areas in their brain than men do when performing identical tasks. So, initiating a discussion with your partner while he's watching TV or surfing the Internet means you won't get his full attention.
3. Ask For What You Want
Are you looking for a solution to a problem? Emotional support? A chance to vent? You're more likely to get the response you're hoping for if you spell it out for him. That's because men are especially programmed to "fix" things, and it can be frustrating for both of you when a solution isn't what you're looking for.
4. Stick to the facts.
MRI scans reveal that men tend to listen with the logistical right half of their brains. That means they're great at comprehending step-by-step details, but they're likely to tune you out if you elaborate too much. Solution? Keep in mind that why he needs to do something really isn't important. He just needs to know what it is you need him to do!
5. Say What You Mean
Research has found that men have more difficulty than women reading facial expressions and body language. And unfortunately, women tend to use a lot of both to communicate, which can lead to frustrating situations for both of you. So, whether you're upset, tired, overwhelmed or even excited, say what you're thinking and feeling, and he's far more likely to be all ears!
6. Write It Down
A majority of men respond better to something concrete, like a note, a list, or even a drawing, than they do to something they hear. That's because the male brain is more spatial and mechanical than the female brain...and more visually inclined. So if he sees what you need him to do in writing, he's more likely to remember to do it.
7. Ask For An "Echo"
Ask your partner to do something for you--like pick up the kids after soccer practice tomorrow, and chances are, he'll respond, "Sure," then totally forget. Solution? Ask him to repeat what he's agreed to do: "Yes, I'll pick up the kids from soccer practice tomorrow." How this works? Men aren't as good at remembering conversations because they have fewer neural connectors between the memory center (hippocampus) and the verbal centers (frontal lobes) of their brains. But asking them to repeat what you've said not only helps strengthen these connections, it doubles the odds of his listening and remembering your request.
8. Step closer
Studies show that people will not use a trash can if it's more than nine feet away, and the same typically goes for men and paying attention. For this reason, have "sit-downs", or face-to-face exchange, at the kitchen table where he can focus on your face, hear every word, remember, and act on your requests.
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