When your partner is discussing something with you, and your cell phone goes off, or you get a text, or a Facebook notification, do you automatically pick up that phone immediately and respond to whatever is there?
Although you may not realize it, what you are telling your partner is that whoever or whatever is on the phone, is more important than what they have to say at the moment.
This is something that William has complained about on a number of occasions. I love to catch up with friends on Facebook and stay in touch with people, especially my children, through texts.
He may be trying to tell me something and I get a text message. While he is still talking, I lift my phone and begin reading my text. Hey, I’m a woman. I can multitask!
I haven’t stopped listening to him, but I may have lessened what I’m actually hearing him say, and it makes him feel like he’s not important enough to listen to.
It’s something he also admits he’s guilty of.
William and I have talked a lot about the importance of communication, and especially about listening. Taking the time to stop what you are doing, while your partner is talking to you, is so important.
For me, it’s not about multitasking. It’s about giving William the respect he deserves to truly listen to what he is saying. The same is true for when I am talking to him.
We decided when we are talking to each other, our phones are down and we make every effort to use eye contact with each other. Calls may come that you must respond to, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
We also decided that if we are talking to each other, and a text or notification comes in, and it’s important, we ask, “Do you mind if I respond to this text quick?” This is not difficult unless you choose it to be.
Make your partner, and what they have to say, a priority.