Peter Roth, President of Warner Brothers Television, who is proud of their hit and hot television series “The Mentalist” had this to say about the lead character played by the handsome Aussie actor, Simon Baker, “I think there is perhaps nothing more attractive to women than a man who is able to listen and to quietly deduce the truth,” Roth says. He is absolutely right. Whenever my husband listens to me and, in our dialogue, reveals that he heard and saw me more clearly than I did, I fall more deeply in love with him. Frankly, it is a huge turn on!
What Is It About Them?
Gerard Butler has this talent on the big screen. What is most alluring about Gerard is his ability to look his leading lady in the eyes, stare deeply into her eyes, listen, and come away from the moment knowing, understanding, and loving her better. Whether it is as King Leonidas in the testosterone filled “300” or as Gerry in the ladies’ choice “PS I Love You,” he does this amazing listening thing with every leading lady. She gets his full attention with lots of direct eye contact! While it sets up incredible expectations for men in relationships, he is the perfect “chick flick” actor because of this quality! Of course, on television and in the movies, stories that take place over a period of days, months, even years are condensed to fill one or two hours. Being that attentive in real life for one or two hours is asking a lot! One of the reasons for the therapist’s 50-minute hour is because even professionally trained listeners can only attentively listen for just so long! The idea that a woman could expect a man to be perfectly attentive at a moment’s notice, a good listener any time of day or night, and always appreciating her is pure fantasy. However, taking some time to experiment with your listening skills and how you report back what you have heard could prove to have a nice pay off.
Being Seen And Heard
Everyone loves to feel seen and heard. It makes us feel valued and loved. As such, Gerard and Simon can teach women the same thing about love. Listening deeply to your man can be a big turn on. However, I believe there is one significant difference between best listening skills for men and women. While a woman loves it when her man deeply listens to her, discovering truths about her, and gently reporting those, it may be true that men prefer deep listening without a lot of feedback. Deep listening requires two senses, hearing and sight. As you listen to the words that are said, you also pay attention to the body language on display. Chances are we can all think of conversations that turned into heated arguments when his or her words gave permission to speak while body language clearly said leave it alone.
Men take more time getting around to discussing aspects of their lives and personalities that allow you to know them more deeply because such discussion makes them feel vulnerable. And when they feel vulnerable, they believe they are no longer in a position to protect you. Oftentimes, perhaps every time, a man discloses to you parts of his life or personality that make him feel vulnerable, he will feel most heard by your attentive listening that doesn’t ask too many questions and that, most especially, doesn’t analyze what he shared. While those kinds of verbal responses might make a woman feel seen and heard, respectfully listening without pushing him deeper will make him feel seen and heard. For both men and women, when you are invited to listen, be careful to allow his or her thoughts to come to a close before changing the subject or leaving the room. Leaving the conversation too swiftly or changing it to be about you too soon, makes a person feel dismissed and is a big turn off. Again, here body language gives a lot of clues. My husband, Joseph, has shared things with me that I did not realize were tender for him to share. Because I did not pay attention to his body language (some tenseness, lack of lingering direct eye contact, hesitation while sharing), I did not perceive what a vulnerable place he was in. So, I got busy analyzing and comparing what he shared to something similar in my life, just rambling on because I hadn’t really listened! When that happens, it is so embarrassing to realize how inattentive and self-centered I can be! On the other hand, when either of us listens attentively, reads the other’s body language, and responds with respect and tenderness, the love and passion grow. Listening deeply is a lot like smiling. It takes more effort to smile than to frown, but life (and love) is better when the effort is made!