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What If They Never Listen Or Take Your Point Of View?

It is very hard to have a discussion or win an argument with someone who never listens to what you have to say.

What do you do when your partner never listens or takes your point of view? How do you engage them in an intelligent discussion and get your partner to listen to you?

There's an old farmer's story about the man who was selling a mule that he claimed would respond to voice commands whispered in his ear. The buyer called him a day later complaining that the mule wouldn't listen to his commands to plow a field.

The seller went to the farmer's field and there stood the mule hitched to a plow. The mule's former owner picked up a large piece of firewood and whacked the mule right between his eyes, driving him to his knees.

The whacker leaned forward and whispered in the mule's ear and the beast jumped up and began to plow. The man turned to the farmer with a smile and said, "Sometimes you have to get his attention first." (This same rule applies to children, as well)

If your partner never listens to your opinions or pronouncements, it is very hard to have a discussion with them or have them do your bidding. You simply have to get their attention in order to make your point or have them honor your request.

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A relationship is a partnership, after all, and if one partner is following only their own counsel, it is no longer a partnership. In order to make a relationship work, you have to be communicating.

Find a common ground for communication.

Certainly, when your relationship first began, you were communicating on some level. Return to that level and reopen communications. Reconnect with your partner at your most basic level and then expand on that.

After your communication is reestablished you can then begin to deal with their inattention to your other conversations.

Find the cause for their inattention.

What is the reason their hearing got turned off. Is it something you are doing or saying, or is it the manner in which you speak? Your attitude may be domineering and your partner is attempting to resist you by not listening to your pronouncements.

It could be your partner is the domineering type and thinks that their opinions and beliefs are the only ones with value. If this is the case, go back to the original common communication link.

External causes.

It could be that some external event caused your partner to cease communicating (listening is part of communications). Has he or she suffered some trauma or had a life-changing experience that would affect your relationship?

Have you done something that would cause your partner to stop listening?

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Getting their attention.

I won't suggest a piece of firewood and a whack between the eyes, but a shock or surprise can gain their attention. You might begin to making a surprise announcement about something in which they have great interest.

With their attention assured, you can work around to a frank discussion about your communications difficulties.

Keeping their attention.

A renowned educator telling about meeting with irate parents said that he just let them talk until they could say no more. He never attempted to interrupt despite the urge to do so. The parents are programmed with what they want to say and to interrupt them will only increase their anger.

He related the parental litany to that of an answering machine. The machine is preprogrammed to issue a statement and accept messages. Until the tape of messages has run its course, you cannot erase them and move on.

Maybe your partner's lack of attention is from the need to get all of their feelings expressed. You have to let them run out of "recorded messages" before you can begin to communicate on the same level.

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