I whine to Tom, my husband, as I scrolled through my phone for the millionth time that day. Anyone else catch themselves in that irony?

The average person is on their phone between 4-6 hours a day.

Tom so “nicely” pointed that out as I was refreshing my Facebook and complaining about the lack of hours in the day. Can you believe that?! We ABSOLUTELY have time to read for 60 minutes, 30 minutes, HECK, even 5 minutes, but sometimes even pulling out a book can be daunting. They always seem SO THICK, and, I don’t know about you, but if I’m reading, it better be super beneficial and have a return on investment (ROI). Whether you’re on your phone for 1 hour or 6 hours, I thought that these relationship guides by the Gottman Institute would be fitting with anyones schedule.


These pocket-sized books seemed short, to the point, and extremely helpful so I decided to take them on, one by one and review them so you guys don’t have to waste your time and money (because neither of them grow on trees, unfortunately), starting with “How to be a Great Listener.”

This bad boy is 14 pages and FULL of great tips and ways of thinking. When taking my time to read it, it took me 8 minutes to complete “How to be a Great Listener,” and was written with easy, clear text to allow me to share my new-found knowledge with Tom (no weird scientific lingo here!). I, personally, don’t struggle to listen when someone’s chatting with me, but I do know I have a hard time coming up with questions to ask to allow the speaker to better express them self and for me to understand better. This book gives at least 40 ways for you to ask better questions, but also examples of ways to express empathy and understanding, as well as exercises you and do by yourself or with your partner to communicate better.


Anyone else do that? This guide really breaks down different scenarios where you have to listen or be listened to and how to handle emotions like anger, insecurity, fear, and more, all while illustrating a plan so you can close the book and know how to do next.

If you’re wanting a large ROI on a book for your relationship, I would DEFINITELY recommend reading “How to be a Good Listener” from the Gottman Relationship Guides complete set. You can grab the entire set here.