LISTEN

When I ask you to listen to me

And you start giving me advice,

You have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen

And you begin to tell me “why” I shouldn’t feel that way,

You are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me
And you feel you have something to
Solve my problems
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen:
Not talk, nor do – just hear me.

And I can do for myself – I’m not helpless
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me, that I can
And need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and weakness.

But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel,

No matter how irrational

Then I quit trying to convince you

And I can get about the business of understanding

What’s behind this irrational feeling.
When that’s clear
The answers are obvious, and I don’t need advice.

Irrational feelings make sense when we
Understand what’s behind them.

stepping_stones_for_web(3)

So, please listen, and just hear me, and if you
Want to talk,
Wait a minute for your turn,
And I’ll listen to you.

Anon

These words were written anonymously, but the clarity of the message cannot be missed: the first step in assisting someone on their journey, is the basic art of listening.

Where there is a hurdle to overcome or a river to cross, if you want to be of genuine assistance, if you want to walk with that person and understand how they feel, listening is the key skill. If you are not listening, appropriate assistance cannot be provided. Thus, although  intentions  are honourable,  the effect is disabling. The outcome frustration for both parties.

So, if you are not paying attention: if your hearing is selective, the opportunity to be of assistance has been lost, and the problem compounded.

Worth thinking about?

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