Listen

[Contributed by Anita Somanchi]

When I ask you to listen and you start giving advice, you have not done what I have asked.

When I ask you to listen and you start telling me why I shouldn't feel the way I do, you are invalidating my feelings.

When I ask you to listen and you start contesting me I feel challenged.

When I ask you to listen and you start trying to solve my problem, I feel underestimated.

When I ask you to listen and you interrupt me I feel taken for granted.

When I ask you to listen and you turn away I feel neglected and ignored.

When I ask you to listen and you start telling me what I need to do I feel offended, pressured and controlled.

When I ask you to listen and you do things which I can do for myself, you hurt my self-esteem.

When I ask you to listen, it does not mean I am helpless. I may be faltering, depressed or discouraged, but I am not helpless.

But when you accept the way I feel, then I don't need to spend time and energy trying to defend myself or convince you. I can focus on figuring out why I feel the way I feel and what to do about it. And when I do that, I don't need advice. I just need support, trust and encouragement.

Please remember that what you think are irrational feelings, always make sense if you take time to listen and understand me. Remember that listening to either a child or an adult helps him feel heard, understood, important, valued, respected and cared about.

And remember that the best listeners focus on feelings, not facts.

 

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