A Little Listening Disconnect
There are myriad little ways that you can disengage your listening and bring the focus back to yourself. One of the most common little listening disconnects I see is expressing that you have the same feeling as the speaker, e.g., "I feel that way too!" Your partner expresses their disappointment around missing intimacy with you and you say, "I miss it too, you know." Now you both are miserable and neither of you feel heard.
Every moment there is something new alive in you. When you are with your beloved even more comes alive in you. When you are in conflict with your beloved yet even more comes alive. Naturally you want to express this aliveness as it arises. One of the most helpful relationship skills you can cultivate is honoring what's alive in you and setting it aside long enough to fully hear your partner.
This means slowing conversations down. It means checking in to see if your partner really feels heard. Then checking to see if they are willing to hear you before switching to yourself. This mindfulness in conversation allows for a deeper intimacy and understanding which then gives rise to creative solutions and natural shifts in the heart.
This week notice how long you are willing to listen to another before you bring a conversation back to yourself. Experiment with telling the speaker what you heard and asking if you got it.