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.
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.