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Around Schull, West Cork, August 2010

Will you please just listen?

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 trying to solve my problem, I feel underestimated and disempowered.

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, it does not mean I am helpless. I may be faltering, depressed or discouraged, but I am not helpless.

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

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, and I can focus on figuring out why I feel the way I feel and what to do about it.

[From: http://eqi.org/listen.htm%5D

And when I do that, I don’t need advice, just 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.

I liked this:

“Many people think that to fight means you have to shout or punch.  I

think to fight means to stick up for your feelings and thoughts and

really communicate your true feelings – so it’s really fighting to be

heard – so the other person knows the real you – that’s

intimacy.”  I suggested in Part 1 to not “fight” with people who are dangerous.

Those who shout, punch, yell, scream or manipulate

are not safe people.  Maybe an intimate relationship can be

established at another time with people who continue to harm you.


In the meantime, stop rocking the boat; get out of it while

you can!  Jesus will find you a new one with people who are safe.

It’s not wrong to continue to love people who do not seek intimacy

with us.


To love is never “wrong”.  Remember that love seeks

intimacy.  Love seeks those relationships where true feelings and

thoughts can be communicated.  Love motivates us to share “the real

you”.   Love moves us to “want to be heard”.  Proof:  I have no desire

to share “the real me” with people I do not love. Do you?


Love IS messy!   Sometimes Love doesn’t look like Love!   Love doesn’t

look like Love when we “people please” or become “rebellious”.  Both

are unhealthy reactions to rejection.  We tend to “people please” and

become “rebellious” when we want intimacy and the other does not.

Little children “rebel” and/or “people please” in order “to be

heard”.  They don’t know any better.  We adults need to know better!


The truth is that some people who we seek to share ourselves with, do

not want that kind of relationship with us.   We need to let them go.

We need to grieve the loss of “what could have been” or “what was”

when people who we’ve had an intimate relationship with don’t want

that any longer.


Letting go:  a process where we become honest with ourselves and feel

our feelings.  This is a most difficult process!   Broken hearts

cannot be fixed!  They need to heal.

Healing is possible as our broken hearts connect with Jesus and others

who we are safe with to live out the real us:  “I think to fight means

to stick up for your feelings and thoughts and really communicate your

true feelings – so it’s really fighting to be heard – so the other

person knows the real you – that’s intimacy.”


Photo: Lough Corrib, August 2010

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