Learning to Listen, NOT Problem Solve

communication relationships

Think about the last time you talked with your partner. You may have shared a challenge at work, a difficult conversation you had with a friend or a frustrating moment with the kids.

How did your partner respond? Did they listen? Or did they jump right in with solutions?

What about the last time your partner shared something with you? Did you jump into problem solving mode and tell them “you just need to…”

Sometimes we need to heard and validated. We don’t need solutions. In fact, we are really good at solving our own problems.

I received this question on Instagram and wanted to share the response again.

“How can we support our partners without jumping into problem solving mode?”


Here are the tips that I share: 

  • Reflect on why and when you go into problem solving mode
  • Each person appreciates different kinds of support.  Ask your partner how you can support them.  If they do not know, ask them to share a time where they felt supported by you.
  • Check out the THE LOVE LANGUAGES QUIZ to develop an understanding of how you both express and need to be shown love.
  • Validation helps to support our partners.  Remember that your partner just wants you to notice and understand the situation they are going through.
  • Curiosity is key.  Instead of giving someone something you think they want, ask them.

Now it’s your turn.  Comment here, or come continue the conversation WITH ME ON INSTAGRAM, and let me know how you support your partner below.


Dr. Tracy

P.S. I teach mothers how to feel like a team with their partner again, even if their partner isn’t onboard for therapy. I would love to support you on this journey in my online program, Be Connected. Join me so that you can:

  • Look at your partner and remember why you said yes
  • Come home and trust that you won’t have the next discussion devolve into the same repeating fight
  • Model to your children what it means to have a healthy and connected relationship.

Learn at your own time and avoid sitting on a waitlist to learn skills and tools that you can start using today. Click HERE for more.

Remember, the information on this site is for information purposes only and does not substitute the care from a licensed mental healthcare provider.